The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez at Chapel Off Chapel


The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez Rating

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Attending the latest production of “The Exotic Lives of Lola Montez” at Chapel Off Chapel was an exhilarating and unforgettable experience. This show is a kaleidoscopic journey through the life of one of history’s most controversial and audacious women, brought to life by an all-female presenting cast.

The performance is a brilliant blend of fantastic singing, ranging from Broadway show tunes to opera and everything in between. It also includes burlesque dancers performing classic fan dances to full-frontal nudity, showcasing a spectrum of artistry and boldness.

The show is a highly feminist work, written and directed by women, and it tackles numerous significant questions relevant during Lola Montez’s time and today. Lola’s assertion that her body was her own and belonged to no one else remains a powerful statement in the current context.

Caroline Lee, a triple Best Actress winner and a direct descendant of Lola Montez herself, delivers a stellar performance. She expertly portrays a woman living life on her own terms in a time when women had limited choices. The narrative delves deep into what it means to live a life defined by one’s own desires and terms, questioning the value of a life lived outside societal norms.

The storyline beautifully intertwines Lola’s life with the historical context of Victoria and Melbourne, referencing artifacts that can still be seen in the National Gallery of Victoria. One notable episode from Lola’s life that is vividly depicted is her infamous horsewhipping incident involving the editor of the Ballarat Star. This event, among many others, is recounted with both humour and drama, creating a captivating narrative.


The show also features burlesque performances that range from historical references to modern interpretations, including a male performer stripping down to a single piece of tape, leaving the audience in suspense. This daring and unapologetic approach is a recurring theme throughout the show, making it both provocative and thought-provoking.

Despite a few minor hiccups, such as occasional line drops by the performers, the overall experience was incredibly enjoyable. The production’s raw honesty, combined with its mix of storytelling and sensual performances, makes it a must-see.

Don’t miss out on this incredible performance that celebrates the life and legacy of Lola Montez in the most spectacular and unapologetic fashion.

**Performance Details:**

**Dates:** 21 – 30 June


  • Friday 21 June, 8pm
  • Saturday 22 June, 8pm
  • Sunday 23 June, 6pm
  • Wednesday 26 June, 8pm
  • Friday 28 June, 8pm
  • Saturday 29 June, 8pm
  • Sunday 30 June, 6pm

– **Tickets:**

  • $88 Table Seat*
  • $48 Standard
  • $38 Concession
  • $38 Groups 6+

**Duration:** 80 minutes (no interval)

**Contains:** Theatrical haze, coarse language, nudity, and lots of dancing. Suitable for ages 15+.

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

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Bernie Dieters Club Kabarett

Bernie Dieters Club Kabarett

Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett Rating

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Bernie Dieter is back with a bootylicious BANG and its settings on stun!

Dare to enter if you can handle the heat. A sultry fusion of circus, song and sexy burlesque, where the thrill of the centre ring meets the seduction of the velvet curtain. Temptation breaks all the boring boundaries and sinks itself into your lap. Ach, mein Gott! What a ride! You must see it darling- it’s BEAUTIFUL!

Like a glittering diamond in the rough under the dome of the Moore Park Spiegeltent, ‘Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabarett’ is a lesson in surrendering to the decadence of hedonism and celebrating the human form in all its glory. Settled within the intimate shadows and velvety atmosphere, we are offered a tasty blend of gritty underground danger and pure, unadulterated flair without ever tipping the scales into crassness or whimsy. This requires astounding skill, my friend.

What’s the X-factor that makes this experience so uniquely delicious? It captures and embraces the unbridled spirit and liberated essence of Weimar-era cabaret. This show is a thoroughbred, real deal cabaret that knows exactly how to deliver and doesn’t hold back. Vibrantly avant-garde and at times ironically grotesque, it provocatively pushes buttons, relishing in its own signature sauce of salaciousness. A big juicy f**k you to conformity and the mundane.

Talent upon talent upon talent. The spotlight ignites seven heavenly bodies – titillating tornadoes of effortless circus expertise. Our hair is literally blown back, our eyes ache from the dazzle, our spirits soar with the thrill of it all. This is a full on fatal attraction of strength, skill, and seduction in the form of a mesmerising array of aerial feats, fiery displays, hoop artistry, whip cracking and contortionism. Eight outstanding acts deliver the perfect balance of clowning and spell binding agility, each one jaw-droppingly unforgettable in its own way and expertly woven together by the quick-witted banter of the incomparable Mistress of Ceremonies, the marvellous Miss Dieter, a ringmaster-class of song and repartee.

How can I possibly describe this powerhouse of a woman? She’s a vocal force, delivering numbers with bodacious energy and precision that’s both captivating and rare. Backed by a very tight and pulsing 3 piece band, Dieter fearlessly embraces contrasts, pivoting from unbridled ferocity in ‘Rebel Yell’ to tender vulnerability in a haunting rendition of ‘Fake Plastic Trees’. A presence that’s both commanding and nuanced, she weaves a sonic tapestry that’s utterly immersive; she defies expectations and forges a connection that’s both raw and profound. Dieter IS cabaret.

The ultimate wild child of the Club circuit family, ‘Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabaret’ shatters the mold, of leaving similar variety shows for dust. The finale is a glorious personal homage to the alchemy of art and drinking, where transformation and reinvention converge in a dazzlingly gutsy and original song.

As you gather your wits to depart, the stage lies in perfect disarray, a telltale testament to the night’s divine debauchery. Littered with party popper innards, discarded costumes, confetti, shreds of balloon rubber, feathers and a spray of white powder which I suspect may represent an illicit substance 😉 This is the aftermath of a night of extravagant fun.

Bernie, you devil, you’ve done it again! You’ve released a kaleidoscope of creativity and set the bar ridiculously high with a night that revisits and then rewrites the rules of cabaret. The impossible is now possible and your imagination knows no bounds.

This is the ultimate winter retreat from the chill of a turbulent world. Indulge in the warmth of Dieter’s organised chaos to help you forget and play for a while, to remind you of the unapologetic, permissible pleasures of being human. All are welcome. So leave your inhibitions at the door, grab your favourite poison and sit back as the candles and stage are lit for a night you won’t forget.

Danke Darling Dieter!

‘Bernie Dieter’s Club Kabaret’ plays at Sydney Spiegeltent Moore Park Entertainment Quarter until July 28th. See for details.
What are you doing??? Click the link and hustle those tickets!

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

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The Last Word

The Last Word

The Last Word Rating

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With an eye-catching poster featuring an image of the star throwing a bunch of SCRABBLE tiles off the board into the air, one could be forgiven, walking into the Butterfly Club, on a cold Melbourne night, that the show, like the poster, may just be a bunch of ideas and various tiles haphazardly thrown together in the hopes a decent score is found. All doubt was removed at the second “The Last Word” star and creator slinked onto the stage.

It’s not often a performer that you are not familiar with, takes a stage, and with literally just a raise of their eyebrow has you giggling and instantly at ease, this is however the feat that Imogen Whittaker managed in her sold-out Monday night performance.

With nothing but a microphone and a piano, along with a whole bunch of therapy behind her (though, as Imogen tells us, she was dumped by her therapist- ouch!), she launches into song and starts the show. Within just a few bars, you know you are in the hands of an up-and-coming pro, instantly the clever, humorous wording has you thinking you are in the hands of a star like Tim Minchin. The music and lyrics already feel like they belong in a smash hit like Matilda (we won’t talk about Ground Hog Day), and the audience takes an audible sigh of relief knowing that the hard slog to get out on a wet Monday will well and truly be worth it.

Through the next 50 minutes or so, Imogen Whittaker draws you in with her charm, honesty, and a little self-deprecation. Managing to tell stories that are uniquely her own, though with wording and feelings that like today’s Astrology Star Sign forecast, the audience could easily interpret to be current and applicable to themselves.

A particular favorite was – Last First Date
“I think I’m going to get RSI
From how many times
I swipe left and right
And put on my nice shoes and dress
Just to be in evidently unimpressed”

A hilarious ode to the pitfalls of dating and kind of a Groundhog Day (not the Minchin one- no, this one wasn’t tedious) of first date after first date after first date and how they all start to feel the same, the guys all sadly similarly bland and not right and how Imogen wishes that she could find the one and have her “Last First date”. Knowing laughter from the audience and friends nudging each other in agreeance throughout.

The Last Word

Other stories of the wacky world of dating are put into song- like the one about the guy she dated for some time, to then find out the reason he was emotionally unavailable was that he was married and bumped into him and his wife at a country bakery where he introduced her as “a family friend”. Awkward. But hey, this ‘ACE’ of a guy brought her a piano- so I guess he is ok?

Another about a failed ‘showmance’ in what we are repeatedly and cheekily told was “the worst production of FAME ever staged” that leaves Imogen wondering if she was in love with the actor or the character. Then there is “Drunk Call”, awaiting an ex who has moved on, but she “Leaves my phone on even though I know you are out, in case I’m the one you‘re still thinking about”.

With brilliant lyrics and music that have you reminded of Missy Higgins, Musicals like Once and Matilda, and an instantly likable personality that draws you in, this was a joyous night at the theatre held by a performer who knows her talent and leans into it with grace and confidence. Despite some sound issues, from the microphone not sounding on for the first number to then barely being able to hear the wonderful piano playing for a few numbers, this is a highly recommended show.

“The Last Word” like the show’s promo poster, is a collection of letters and words of Imogen Whittaker’s experiences. She played a brilliant game and clearly won with the tiles of life that have been dealt her way.

I can’t help but feel that she still holds her ‘Q’ and ‘Z’ close to her chest. But I tell you, when she does decide to put them on the table, not only will she win again, she will score big and it will be one of the most exciting games. This is not Imogen’s last word, and I eagerly await her next.

This review also appears on It’s On The House. Check out more reviews at Whats The Show to see what else is on in your town.

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Glitz, Glamour and Grandeur – Cabaret De Paris

Step into a world of glitz, glamour, and captivating performances as Cabaret De Paris takes you on an extraordinary journey showcasing a dazzling display of talent, energy, and pure entertainment. Get ready for an unforgettable experience in a world of vibrant colours, sophistication and alluring acts paying tribute to cabarets in France.

Under the expert direction of producer and performer Michael Boyd, Cabaret De Paris delivers a captivating experience that combines the allure of Parisian showgirl charm with jaw-dropping illusions and remarkable artistry. This production showcases the finest performers, each bringing their unique skills to create a night of pure glitter and enchantment with his own mind-bending magical act that leaves us in awe.

Leading the ensemble is the incomparable Rhonda Burchmore, a true icon of the stage. With her golden voice and larger-than-life personality, Rhonda commands the spotlight, effortlessly captivating the audience with every note she sings. Her impeccable stage presence and timeless beauty remind us why she is hailed as Australia’s leading lady of cabaret.

The choreography by Todd Patrick, a dance maestro with an impressive repertoire, elevates the performance to new heights. Each routine is flawlessly executed, blending elegance, grace, and excitement. The cast’s flawless synchronisation and precise movements are a testament to their exceptional talent and countless hours of dedicated practice.

The costumes designed by Cathie Costello are a visual feast for the eyes – a delightful explosion of colour, glamour, and elegance. From the shimmering gowns to the mesmerising outfits adorned with feathers and jewels, every detail reflects the extravagance and sophistication of the Parisian cabaret tradition. The seamless combination of vibrant colours, elaborate accessories, and intricate designs enhances the overall visual spectacle.

The production features an incredible variety of acts, adding a delightful touch of humour and surprises and ensuring that there is never a dull moment throughout the 90-minute extravaganza. Accompanied by a delightful mix of music, spanning jazz, pop, and the iconic French Cancan, the show effortlessly transitions from one mesmerising performance to another. The carefully curated soundtrack sets the mood and enhances the immersive experience, keeping the audience engaged and enthralled.

Cabaret De Paris is a mesmerising celebration of the rich traditions and artistry of the cabaret genre. With its intoxicating blend of top-tier talent, breathtaking visuals, and dynamic performances, this production is a testament to the enduring appeal of the Parisian cabaret scene, leaving you with an insatiable desire to relive the magic again and again.

The Cabaret De Paris is on tour now and will be visiting Perth and Canberra through June 2023, but be sure to check for future dates and locations coming to your town soon.

This review also appears in On The House

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