Brooklyn native Amy G (Amy Gordon) has some issues. She feels she doesn’t meet the stereotypical standards of how a woman should look. She also had anxiety about being a performer because being visible means criticism, and staying in your wardrobe is so much safer. Happily for us, this cabaret singer/comedienne has overcome her shame at being different, and turned it into fodder for her Melbourne Cabaret Festival show Entershamement.
It was only upon seeing Amy G change into roller skates on stage that I recalled seeing her before in memorable shows. She’s had stints in La Clique, and 2004 seasons with Daredevil Opera Company’s Rocket and Roxy’s Stunt Show at the Adelaide Festival, and the kids show Cirkus Inferno at Adelaide Fringe.
Entershamement provides another outlet for Amy G’s physical humour, roller dexterity, and feigned awkwardness. If you haven’t seen this before, the show is already worth seeing. However, G’s act has developed to balance gags with the trappings of Cabaret. Visually, there’s plenty to please, with feather boas and sequins featuring in the costume changes, acting to undercut the pathos of G’s awkward-feeling past, as expressed through song.
In more recent times, G’s wrestling with shame has come from her performances on TV talent quests in Europe, such as those in the “Got Talent” franchise. She was subjected to this following a spot on German show “Das Supertalent”, where she played a kazoo with her “magic parts”. This, and recollections of some very personal insults from the internet, showed that shame may come from many quarters. These events may also cause parents to consider if attending with children will be uncomfortable.
As the show progressed, G continued to undermine some cabaret conventions, such as taking an intermission on stage in a show too short for one. Whilst there’s carousing with the audience, sometime manic activity, goofy costumes, and lots of laughs, it’s not all a joke. As one reminder of her singing chops, G’s version of It’s Not Easy Being Green shows that when she wants, she can pluck heart strings as easily as she does those on her ukulele.
The variety of Amy G provides a welcome change of pace in a genre that sometimes can take itself a bit too seriously. Whilst 6:30pm might not seem such a great time for Cabaret, you’ll have thousands of dinners in your life. Forgo one and get to Amy G in this very short season, because a Cabaret Festival without Entershamement would just be a shame.
Melbourne Cabaret Festival 2016 – Amy G: Entershamement
Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Performance: Thursday 16 June 2016 – 6:30pm
Season continues to 19 June 2016
For more information, visit: www.amy-g.com for details.
Image: Amy G (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte