Nick Nicolas and his colleague Natalie Bauer have come up with a winning show with their new production, ELVIS CABARESQUE VEGAS SHOW which I saw last night at Newtown’s warm, intimate cabaret venue, The Vanguard.
The audience, in the middle of the Queen’s Birthday long weekend, were in the mood for feel good, uncomplicated, risque entertainment, and that was what was delivered with panache.
The show had a bit of a plot – something about us (the audience) being on board a cruise ship on the way to Las Vegas that had come into trouble and had docked in Hawai and guess who comes on board to entertain us, none other than the King himself. For the first Act we are stuck in Hawai. There could be worse places! The second Act see us having made it to sin and entertainment capital, Vegas. Hey, the plot is a bit of nonsense, but holds the show together, just fine.
Nicolas made for a great King. He looked the part, sounded great and sang plenty of the Presley standards with style. Suspicious Minds, Viva Las Vegas, It’s Now or Never, and Steamroller were stand-outs.
Better even than the singing was how fully Nicolas took on the Presley persona. He became the King, effortlessly bantering with his dancers and the audience.
The King was joined on stage with an exciting, gorgeous band of young dancers- all from Dancers 4 Events, a Wollongong dance troupe managed by Natalie Bauer- who cavorted and danced around him. The girls performed plenty of great numbers- loved the catwalk number which the girls really got into. They also had the the opportunity to skylark as other characters, including one dancer who put on the razz as the one and only Marilyn Monroe.
An exquisite pole dancer, made a too brief performance, performing some quite incredible moves to Peggy Lee’s old classic, Fever.
Emma Rodgers impressed as the Cruise Ship director/emcee, acting as a bridge between the different numbers and, as well, having a good rapport and tongue in cheek repartee with the audience.
There was some good natured audience participation with members being brought up on stage-joining in, getting to enact the machinery behind the Steamroller number, and there was even an impromptu wedding enacted on stage, with a young guy brought up on stage and married to the Cruise Director. The wedding was presided over by none other than the newly designated marriage celebrant, Elvis.
A very appealing aspect of the show was the freewheeling, irreverent humour that was on show throughout.
ELVIS CABARESQUE VEGAS SHOW was brought subtly to a close with the cast coming together at the front of the stage as Nicholas sang one of the King’s classic, slow, romantic songs, Falling in Love with You.
Production values across the board were- good choreography and lighting design, plenty of great costumes especially for the Showgirls who got to wear some amazing outfits, and the show’s many scene changes were carried out smoothly.
A fun night out, ELVIS CABARESQUE LAS VEGAS will next play at The Vanguard, Newtown on the 17th August.