I need to disclose from the start that I know Sarah Gousse – at least, I thought I did until seeing her debut solo show since leaving the Andrew Sisters cover group The Pacific Belles late last year.
Gousse proved that, like an iceberg, she had only revealed one tenth of her potential until now. This solo offering brings every ounce of her talent to the fore – we get the whole kit and caboodle. Gousse is sexy, sassy, seriously funny and sings up a storm.
The Misadventures of Miss Bouzy Rouge is essentially two shows in one.
In the first half we meet ‘Sarah’, who may or may not be the real Sarah Gousse. Sarah has run up debts in her thirty years of being – the essential plot line for any good cabaret show. She has been a number of things including a nanny who needs to be more careful where she treads (but That’s Life, or so people say); a university student with an Arts degree (and all that it doesn’t bring); and an actress of ample proportions and immense talents (if only she were like that wonderful Parisian burlesque and cabaret performer, Miss Bouzy Rouge).
The magic of theatre and an on-stage quick change preceded the arrival of Miss Bouzy Rouge for the second half. It involved singing Loving You with a parody of that ridiculous high note in the song, three audience members and a blackout caused by an unpaid electricity bill.
Miss Bouzy Rouge is fully French and disgustingly wonderful: Speaking French (from the musical Lucky Stiff), giving us the beautifully delivered Piaf anthem Non je regrette rein, being Wicked with Popular and sensuously rude with Do It Again.
Gousse certainly knows how to charm an audience and can send herself up beautifully – even while tap dancing (of sorts). She even banters delightfully with her pianist, Bruce Hancock.
Those lucky enough to see The Misadventures of Miss Bouzy Rouge (apparently all three shows are deservedly sold out), will have non je regrette rein (no regrets). One can only hope that we see Gousse or Miss Rouge, or both at next year’s Fringe.
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: La Boheme 36 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: 26 – 28 February 2015
Duration: 1 hour
Tickets: $20 – $23
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)