Stage: Diva Lost Vegas – Rhumbelow Theatre at Tina’s Hotel in Kloof (8pm today and 2pm on Sunday), then at Rhumbelow Theatre in Umbilo (February 14 to 16)
REVIEW BY BILLY SUTER
DURBAN darlings Lisa Bobbert and Marion Loudon – two-thirds of the hit Glitter Girls cabaret team that also features fellow, award-winning singer-actress Liesl Coppin – have now teamed as a twosome for a feather-light and frothy frolic of a cabaret that is sure to keep most happily entertained.
The show is a little rough at the edges, with dance moves in need of tightening here and there, but neither that nor a small opening-night costume malfunction involving a cape could detract from the charm, chutzpah and comic clout of these two seasoned, versatile and very popular performers.
Offering a good mix bag of songs – ranging from Lady Gaga, Shania Twain, Olivia Newton John and Gwen Stefani, to Celine Dion, Tina Turner, Madonna, Cher and even Elvis Presley – the revue has song and dance sandwiched between the tale of two ‘dance moms’ who decide to put on a variety show as a fundraiser.
Val (Loudon) and Di (Bobbert) are associated with MADD (Moms and Dancing Daughters). Boasting of yesteryear successes on stage, they plan to star themselves in a stage production intended to raise funds to send their girls’ dance studio to an international competition in Las Vegas, following their success at LGBT (the La Lucia Great Big Talent contest).
They arrive on stage to tell the audience they are auditioning ‘dance dads’ to provide support in their planned show which, during the course of the revue, starts to see proposed celeb guest stars – from one Elvis Chetty and drag queen Patrick Lewis, to Yvonne Chaka Chaka – bailing, one at a time.
So Val and Di decide that, come hell or high water, the show will go on – even if only they fill the spotlights.
In the cheerful chaos that follows, the women, donning a variety of costumes, get to sing varied songs, solo or together, in between taking and making phone calls, and discussing their friendship, rivalry, previous successes and hopes for their show.
Directed and choreographed by Daisy Spencer, who also held the same responsibilities with Bobbert and Aaron McIlroy’s recent Family Therapy, the production skips along at a brisk pace.
Highlights include a very amusing rendition of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance, with Loudon on vocals and Bobbert feigning exhaustion while tap-dancing with a cane; a closing medley nodding to Elvis Presley; and a feathery second-half opener that offers a surprise or two.
Also of note is Loudon’s more serious moment with a delivery of Lady Gaga’s poignant Always Remember Us This Way (from A Star is Born); her fun, jazzy interpretation of Britney Spears’s Oops, I Did It Again; and a good Cher impersonation with Strong Enough. The irrepressible Bobbert is at her comical best with her Physical and send-ups of Celine Dion’s It’s All Coming Back to Me Now and Tina Turner’s Private Dancer, but it would have been nice to have had at least one serious moment from her.
Both women also have great fun, and get the audience bopping heads, with Gwen Stefani’s Rich Girl and fun disco and pop medleys. The show also features such hits as Applause, Stuff Like That There, These Boots Are Made For Walking, Hanky Panky, Xanadu and That Don’t Impress Me Much.
Diva Lost Vegas, which is sure to be even better once it has tightened up a little, has final performances at 8pm today (February 8) and 2pm on Sunday (February 9), after which Umbilo Rhumbelow performances follow – at 8pm next Friday and Saturday (February 14 and 15) and 2pm next Sunday (February 16.
Tickets cost R160 each and booking is at Computicket or by calling Roland at 082 499 8636. Chat to Roland about special discounts for pensioners and group bookings.