Carlotta: The Party’s Over

Part of the lure of seeing an entertainer, the self-proclaimed and well-earned title of the ‘Aussie living legend’ Carlotta AM, is the hope that the show will be fabulous. And that plenty of sequins, feathers and bright costumes will adorn her – and Carlotta did not disappoint.

She burst onto the stage to thunderous applause and cheering from the audience, wearing a black outfit covered in dazzling diamantes and dark feathers for her show, The Party’s Over.

It seemed this title implied Carlotta would retire, yet in her own words, she would perform until the day she can’t, as retirement would be too boring. Carlotta has had a long and varied career, and it seems she isn’t going to quietly exit showbusiness to drink cups of camomile tea and knit!

The musical director, Helpman Award winner Michael Griffiths, accompanied Carlotta on the piano, singing some songs alongside her. Michael brought a polished charm to the stage. Also on the set were two talented musicians playing the bass guitar and drums.

The Hayes Theatre is a small venue that allowed Carlotta an evening that seemed an intimate performance, and at times, she exuded warmth and felt like she was friends with everyone in the audience. Indeed, she did have some friends in the audience, and she kindly gave a shout-out to her one-hundred-year-old friend and another friend in the biz with whom she had previously worked.

Carlotta has a quick sense of humour and injected a lot of levity into her show. No one was safe from her witty remarks, especially not the front row, who traditionally were targets for a comedy show! No topics and no people were off limits, even the ex-PMs, a certain broadcasting studio whose security was exceptionally high, “millenniums”, and even her own self, making light of her age and that it was a “hideous age” she was currently at.

She made everyone laugh when alluding to keeping up with the demands of performing standing up for long periods when she was in her eighties and feeling too hot in her costumes. (She had three costume changes, each as captivating and fabulously outrageous as the last, complete with tall, sparkly headpieces and gigantic feather fans).

Carlotta’s singing voice was strong and robust, and she sang classics such as I Write the Songs, My Way, and I Still Call Australia Home. She had the audience singing along, clapping, and swaying in their seats.

Scattered throughout her show, Carlotta reminisced about different parts of her life. She had performed in Les Girls in Kings Cross for almost 30 years, followed by a career in television. She gave a condensed version of the history of Kings Cross and how lovely it used to be, with a good reputation where people from overseas wanted to come to dine at the Bourbon and Beefsteak pub and see shows at the Les Girls nightclub.

Carlotta is a seasoned performer comfortable in her own skin. She is an advocate for the LGBTIQ+ community, leaving the audience with a message to always be yourself and not be silenced on your thoughts because – “darlings, life is too short.”

Running Time: 75 minutes, no interval
Performances: 28 Feb -3 March 2024
Hayes Theatre 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point

This review also appears on It’s On The House, and check out more reviews at Dark Stories Theatre to see what else is on in your town.

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