Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: BROAD

Quinn energetically creates an enjoyable show full of clever original tunes, relatable stories, giant Auburn hair, and powerhouse vocals

Quinn energetically creates an enjoyable show full of clever original tunes, relatable stories, giant Auburn hair, and powerhouse vocals

Presented by: Adelaide Cabaret Festival & Geraldine Quinn
Reviewed: 23 June, 2023

Melbourne-based cabaret comedian Geraldine Quinn, who is known for her rock cabaret-comedy, refuses to let age stop her, and instead empowering this brassy broad to not only have, but to impressively vocally belt her opinions via creatively lyrical songs.

There’s an array of famous red-heads with a pension for the spotlight – Rhonda Burchmore, Vivienne Westwood, ex-Princess Fergie, and a hint of the self-assured Valli Myers, who even had an entire show dedicated to her – ‘And Then You Go – A Valli Myers Project’ – last Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Geraldine Quinn fits into this group, and even though she’s been away from the Adelaide Cabaret Festival for over four years, she clearly has a place among this years’ performers. Quinn has a cabaret-relevant bright, large and attention-grabbing personality which matches her bright, large and attention-grabbing hair.

Her cleverly lyrical and catchy original songs range from odes to an audience (and their beloved stink) that she dearly missed during pandemic lockdowns, to quips about technology obsession and her dislike of crystal-loving, chakra-obsessed, positive-vibe-only women. Highlights include a naughty Christmas tune which, as Quinn describes as “brings a voice to the marginalised through a seasonal song” – the marginalised being the single and children-less like herself. Another highlight is the lyrically-simple songs that Quinn sings to her dog about walking, pooping and praising her pooch as a ‘pretty girl’. These are so enjoyable that they could honestly have their own unique sell-out show.

Accompanying Quinn is the also enigmatic Melbourne-based piano player, Cameron Thomas, who, honestly, is a bit of a delightful spotlight-stealer, drawing plenty of laughter from the audience with his confident moves in one particular performance that focuses on the internet. From sassily flipping his (quite short) hair and confident hip-swaying, to dramatic stage-lounging and vigorous back-up dancing, Thomas is a comedically welcome addition to the show and quite complementary to Quinn’s routine.

Unfortunately throughout the show, some of Quinn’s jokes don’t land with the audience, possibly due to their length. In saying this, some of Quinn’s one-liners are undeniably clever like “I have a body built for reclining” and “sequins are the ghost of cabaret people past”, plus many other naughty and giggle-inducing quotes. In understanding that Quinn is both a comedian and a musician/singer, her voice is definitely an area that she has power in and perhaps more jokes filtered into musical tunes would be a strength worth pursuing, such as her dog songs and her Christmas tune.

Quinn provides her Adelaide audience with a creatively lyrical and vocally-impressive performance that entertains, however some jokes may need to be workshopped or spoken with more confidence to pull them off, while the up-beat song she sings to her dog about pooping and walks is a boogie-in-your-seat highlight.

Reviewed by Georgina Smerd

Photo credit: Claudio Raschella

Venue: Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide
Season: 23 – 24 June 2023
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $35 – $45

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