Presented by Smoke & Mirrors Productions and Tandanya
Reviewed 22 November 2019
Sugarbabies, written by and performed in part by Josh Sanders,plays into its name by exploring and lampooning the perceived relationships between a sugar baby and their sugar daddy.
It is a musical boylesque show that leans heavily into the musical aspect of the production. The two man (sugar baby) act follows the performers playful and seductive nature through a full cycle of having a sugar daddy, a man who is at least a millionaire and is able to provide all sorts of treats, through the options within that relationship, out the other end and lonely again, and finally back on track with another sugar daddy.
The overall show was guided by the acts’ names on a board that guided the non-stop musical. The boylesque approach had moments of tease that touched on topics such as BDSM, polyamory and monogamy. There was a self-awareness on display, in that, while broaching these themes, Sugarbabies remained firmly planted in the upbeat and lively side of live entertainment.
The performance by the Ziegfeld Boys is gloriously high camp. They strutted onto stage with full length faux fur coats that created the only main reveal for the show, the remainder of the costumes still detailed and spectacular but not designed to be covering. The details in the costumes still added to the overall highlights of the show. The combination of fashions, all in a burlesque cut, aptly intertwined with the music, alterations in tone, and the general feel of the show.
Sugarbabies was a caricature of how such a style of relationship would work. The mix of show tunes in cabaret style carried Sugarbabies through the frisky and flirtatious tone. The famous show tunes received a modern tongue-in-cheek approach with sneaky innuendoes slipped in for comical effect.
On first look the show was wonderfully kitsch. However, the full performance was backed by exhibiting marvellous and highly talented vocal sets and physical movements. It was a fully formed production that can stand out from other fringe style shows in the genre.
Sugarbabies was a lot of fun to experience and a great addition to Feast Festival 2019. It is touring regularly and one to catch for a fun night out if it’s in town.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 5: 5 Brilliantly Camp
Venue: Tandanya National
Cultural Aboriginal Institute, Grenfell Street, Adelaide
Season: 21st-23rd November 2019
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $36.00 – $39.00