Gady Lala: Songs for the Sophisticated Fag Hag – 2012 Adelaide Fringe

Presented by Felicity Arts for CABFringe
Reviewed Saturday 18th February 2012

Adelaide Fringe – Gady Lala

Venue: La Boheme, 36 Grote Street Adelaide
Season: 8pm 16-17 Feb, 7pm 18-19 Feb (Sold Out)
Venue: The Hunting Lodge, Garden of Unearthly Delights, Rundle Park (Kadlitpinna Park) East Terrace, Adelaide
Season: 7pm Sat 25th Feb
Venue: Queen’s Theatre 3, Cnr Gillies Arcade & Playhouse Lane, Adelaide
Season: 9pm Tues 13th March
Tickets: Adults $28/Bank SA Customer, Concession $22/Fringe Benefits, Group $20
Duration: 1hr
Guidance: PG
Bookings: Fringetix 1300-FRINGE (1300-374 643), or FringeTix outlets ($2.75 booking fee applies when booking through FingeTix), or online at Fringe bookings

Engaging, hilarious, and heartfelt.

With the cream of Adelaide Cabaret in Catherine Campbell, Sidonie Henbest and Libby O’Donovan, all accompanied by the talented Matthew Carey, this show couldn’t be a better example of great cabaret.

After a fabulous reworking of a well-known song (the first of many reworkings of both popular music and musical theatre standards), O’Donovan lays the groundwork for what the audience is to expect of the hour.  Firmly stating that, whilst the title is a spin on the name of an artist known for her outlandish outfits, there will be no other reference to her, apart from the homages in the trio’s headgear of found items.

Treating the stage as a therapy meeting, for both themselves and the audience, the trio work through a series of Gay Anthems, as they describe them, all the while giving the audience an insight into their own relationship with the topic, each bringing a different spin on relationships to and with, as they put it, fags. Each Gady, as the trio refer to themselves, connects to the audience, ensuring that her story is believable and the audience is engaged. The singing along, raucous laughter and level of audience participation, is proof that people are connecting and interested in joining in the fun that the ladies appear to genuinely be having. A quick scan of the room shows that the audience were knowingly nodding, vocally agreeing and often dancing in their seats.

Whilst most numbers are ensemble pieces, each Gady does get the opportunity to present their story through a solo piece. O’Donovan’s fans will be pleased to know she brings a number from her solo show to help illustrate her story, and remains on hand to assist Henbest with a reworking of a popular number, a variation that sits very well with the audience. In addition to turning Henbest’s piece into a duet, O’Donovan plays her role for the number with hilarious visual imagery. Campbell sits to deliver her more sedate plea to her gay friends, and reminiscing for a lifestyle she used to know.

Carey shows his professionalism by being more than just an accompanist, following the conversation and antics onstage to be able to add his two cents worth when he deems it necessary, or dodging flying props.  s for the trio on stage, their performance feels comfortable, not forced, possibly even having impromptu moments, all factors that add to a great cabaret show.

In amongst the clever reworking of well-known songs, the facial expressions and vocal variety is hilarious. All three manage manic, psychotic and desperate, as and when required, and move from angelic to sultry, with vocals to match.

The final medley further shows the group’s skill, both arranging 30 odd songs to fit together, and in the variety of musical styles and vocal and physical emotions that these three can convey.

Whilst the shows at La Boheme have sold out, two additional shows have been added, due to demand, but space is filling up fast, so book now if you appreciate great cabaret.

Reviewed by Jade Kops, special guest Fringe Critic, Glam Adelaide.

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