What: The Glorybox La Revolucion
Where: Melba Spiegeltent
When: Aug 20 – Sept 13
Performed by: Mama Alto, Miss Chief, Holly Durant, Moira Finucane, Yeshewambtat Maharete, Natasha May, Lily Paskas, Clare St Clare, Rockie Stone, and Azaria Universe.
Set by: Barrie Michael Baxter and Isaac Lummis
Costumes by: Isaac Lummis and Tirion Rodwell
Sound by: Adam Hunt and global influences
Visual Art by: Jason Ebeyer, Brydee Ray Smith, Lin Tobias, and Josh Weeks
Salon Manager: Nic Dorwood
So, I need to begin this review by saying wow. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow! The Glorybox La Revolucion returns to Melbourne for an unfortunately short season at the beautiful Melba Spiegeltent and it is truly roof raising.
I had the opportunity to interview Finucane a couple of weeks ago and she told me that Glorybox began as an idea 11 years ago, which inaugurated as The Burlesque Hour. Over that time the ideas and concepts of the show have evolved but never changed.
The elements of the show are constantly in flux, with performers of the calibre of Yumi Umiamare having taken part in the past. This incarnation of the show is just a headline of amazing talent. It is not even worth trying to single out anyone, the line up is so phenomenal.
During our interview, it became clear that what inspires Finucane is acceptance and freedom for people to be who they are and to revel and glory in that and to be celebrated for that. This is what The Glorybox La Revolucion is about.
Every act in this burlesque/cabaret/circus event is part of a meta-statement about individuality, acceptance and celebration. It leans towards a female dialogue, but in many ways it is more about humanity. The big question the show addresses is what is it to be female, what is it to be male, and more importantly what is it to be human?
With Alto, we see man as woman, in Finucane we see woman as man. Stone gives us strength as femininity, and St Clare is the ultimate siren chanteuse. All of these figures are a dialogue on womanhood and manhood – our perceptions, our biases, and our acceptances.
Stone, a beautiful pixie woman from the front, has lats of steel when you see her from behind, and her chair stack act and blind static trapeze are heart stopping. ‘Sauce’ (which had me mulling and musing for days) with Finucane and St Clare is a tender commentary on a broken heart – in particular, I think the heart of a mother. Alto was channelling Barbara Streisand as she performed ‘Wild Is The Wind’ atop the glistening black baby grand.
The first act was good, but the second act is mind blowing. I guarantee you have never seen anything like Stone’s ‘Molly Bashful’, and as the cast give our raincoats for Finucane’s ‘Her Majesty The Dairy Queen’ there was raw uncertainty and anticipation in the audience, as well as an understanding that if they are handing them out you better put one on!
The second act begins with the introduction of a wonderful new dancer from Tennant Creek, May. She performs ‘Desert Harmony’ with Paskas and Durant and it is a perfect segue from the interval with energy, surprise, precision and originality to match the best.
I also have to comment on Universe’s ‘Pearls’. An irreverent and hilarious commentary on the impossibility to keep up with everybody else’s demands and expectations.
The grand finale is Finucane’s ‘The Coffee of No Regrets’. You really need to hear this monologue for yourself, but I will say that you will be paying attention to how hot your latte is forevermore.
The audience was in an uproar for almost all of the second act, screaming and cheering all the way. Each time trying to express their growing appreciation for what they were experiencing. You will never see anything like this again in your life, so make sure you don’t miss it. Seriously. Go!!!!!!