Presented by Cabaret Fringe Festival
Reviewed 7 June 2019
Shake It offers an hour of entertainment, packed with guest acts from across the burlesque, circus and cabaret communities, both in Adelaide and interstate. It is billed that they will be shaking it up – not being polite, and not being gentle. Unfortunately, this is truer than it reads (more on that later in this review).
Host Minnie Andrews is brilliant. Her MC skills and ability to work a crowd is amazing, but it’s her powerhouse voice that makes her a standout. Andrews’ husky, jazz-influenced voice is delightful to listen to, and her banter with the audience is humorous and keeps the pace of the show moving. Don’t let her sweet, cute appearance fool you though!
Viola Verve brings nothing but pure class with her routine. She oozes charm the moment she walks onto the stage. Her routine is well planned and executed, and every move is executed with precise precision – special mention must go to her feather boa work.
Olivia Watts’ routine involving hoops was highly impressive. Her control over the hoops was amazing, and her years of circus training was evident in the precise execution of her routine. It was a shame that she was only featured once, as she appeared to be a crowd favourite.
Stewart Reeve, who I had the pleasure of reviewing on a previous night, made a brief appearance, bringing the house down with his Avenue Q segment from his own show, Stewart Reeve: Chameleon. Stewart is a highly entertaining performer, and a phenomenal vocalist.
Lyra LaBelle’s routine had all the earmarks of a potentially entertaining routine. However, the selection of an audience member who was unable to physically do what was asked and caused the routine to stop was the first of several disappointing moments. Perhaps pre-selecting someone who is more able to carry out the routine would have resulted in a more solid performance.
Unfortunately, one final artist that was featured in Shake It has left this reviewer icing an on-going knee injury. Desert Rose’s first routine early in the night was impressive. Her control of fans was near perfect. However, her second routine was far from this. Without being given the option to “opt out” of audience participation (and after clarifying with other known South Australian Burlesque performers, I have confirmation that she should have), I am now left with an inflamed knee after she landed quite hard on it and I was forced to participate in this routine.
I strongly suggest the venue management, Gluttony, along with the producers, re-assess their event risk management policy. Venue management, when spoken to at the end of the night, really didn’t seem to be interested in resolving the issues that were raised.
Shake It is on each weekend of the Adelaide Cabaret Fringe and is mostly a well-presented show. However, don’t sit where you are easily accessed, or you too may end up icing an injury.
Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff
Rating out of 5: 3
Venue: Gluttony (Masonic Lodge)
Season: Fridays & Saturdays until 22 June 2019
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: $19 – $25
Cabaret Fringe Festival, cabaret, burlesque, Gluttony, Masonic Lodge, Minnie Andrews, Viola Verve, Olivia Watts, Stewart Reeve, Lyra LaBelle, Desert Rose