Stars Shine in Sorrento Spiegel Spectacular

Yes, the alliteration was completely necessary! If ‘Spiegelicious’-the brainchild of Three Palms’ James McPherson and Aussie dance-deity Jason Coleman-engenders anything in its audiences, unabashed revelry and shameless self-indulgence is it. A night of Montmarte-era raucousness, modern-style musical passion and the classic cabaret delight that is Wayne Scott Kermond await you at the Sorrento Speigel-Zelt, a nice jaunt from the summery claustramania of Melbourne.

There’s something so extravagant about the almost 100-year old European Spiegel-Zelt perched alongside the beach shack style of Three Palms restaurant, a meeting of ancient charm and Australian cheek. Stepping through the adyton into that world sparks the first energy as we are treated to the cutting-edge vocal musing of Jude Perl, whose ethereal tones were made to be resonated in that space from an obscured part of the stage. Her reimagining of all things ‘-icious suffix’ blends much more familiarly into the Cabaret introduction of showbiz-shaman Wayne Scott Kermond.

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Coleman has curated here a true gem- although some moments tread the line of being expected or predictable, they are given just enough time to warm the cockles of your heart before Seann Miley Moore comes out to beat the burlesque shit out of them and take the audience to new planes (the styling of ‘Putting on the Ritz’ had us all checking iTunes). Moore’s is a reign we do not question as an audience, sporting the diva-command with utmost authority-which is no small feat considering the intimacy and reputed conservativeness of the audience- even through the most stunning rendition of ‘Beautiful’ I have ever heard, and mashed-up with ‘Nature Boy’ to boot.

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Now a word on Wayne Scott Kermond. Never mind this man is a stage-legend, and without wanting to spoil his ode to song-and-dance-men (real tears were going on here people), the comedy and energy Wayne brings to Spiegelicious gives the audience a truly personal experience with the performer. Being in his presence is something I’m sure many took for granted, but was truly special to witness. There are stacks of reasons to make the journey down the Victorian coast for this extravaganza, but seeing this performance-piece-du-resistance up close ranks pretty damn high. He’s magic in the role of Emcee, even more so as himself.

Before I get to the former Cirque du Soleil acrobats and the chameleonic vocals of Catherine Hancock, word must go Ministry of Dance’s fantastic ensemble. For all that Spiegel Zelt is an intimate cabaret space, and its stage having barely enough room for Wayne’s stage presence, let alone his person, Tim Barnes, Hara Papoulias, Anna Magrath and Romy Vuksan make it look like Broadway in there. Bringing the commercial flavour we’ve come to know and love Coleman for, these guys bring back the freshness with boundless energy from curtain up to down. Kudos.

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The Spiegel-Zelt is the smallest Spiegeltent on the circuit (for those of you who are familiar), but somehow Rachel Kmetko and Dan Power bring the same level of awe you’d see in a full circus. And all the better for us to see the actual technique of true cirque up close!

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Ok so if I haven’t managed to convince you of the absolute ball you’re going to have at Spiegelicious with stage legends, contemporary circus elite, and the nightclub dancehall divas, then let’s talk Catherine Hancock. This woman takes you right back to the Hollywood glamour we’ve missed since Monroe, hankered for since Hayworth, bereft of since Bacall. But our prayers for a modern-day Ekberg have been answered. Providing vocal grace and power to a plethora of characters, Hancock is all-class and all-the-more-talent. Needs close watching for her absolute character-prowess, combined with singing chops and a darling spirit.

For this Prahran-residing Adelaide expat, the actual trip to Sorrento added to the mystery and intrigue of the evening. The highlight was absolutely the Jurassic-Park-stomping Can Can, performed flawlessly by dancer and audience alike! Rustle up four friends and get down there while it lasts in such close quarters because this show has legs as long as Anna (got to be seen to be believed).

Spiegelicious is showing from Dec 27th-Jan 25th from 9.30pm at 154 Ocean Beach Road, Sorrento 3943, about 1.5hrs drive from Melbourne. Contact Three Palms for dinner and show bookings. Book at Ticketmaster.

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credit to Belinda Stodder for images.

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