“ALEV Truthful and Twisted”, a review

Ivy Ambrosia 6 August 2012

Thursday night (26/7/2012) saw Kremlin Bar and Tapas host another of the fringe nights that have been popping up in and around Canberra recently. ‘ALEV Truthful and Twisted’ was hosted by glamourous local drag queen Tammy Paks and programmed by local burlesque performer Seker Paré.

Thursday’s show started out with a minor technical hitch but once sorted it kicked off with a best dressed award from Tammy Paks and personal story in song. As always Tammy walked the border between hilarity and crudity with grace, only occaisionally dipping a perfectly manicured toe into the waters of vulgarity. Her tampon giveaways are now becoming surprisingly competitive (The first time I’ve seen a woman so disapointed over a box of tampons).

This time ALEV featured Majura the magician, whose cheeky hypnotism and parlour magic kept everyone laughing and guessing. After proving that he could read minds and producing anatomically correct foam representations from out of the hands of unsuspecting audience members, he produced a tampon from his ear (at Tammy’s request of course). Throughout his performance he kept the audience engaged with inappropriate jokes and participation and long afterwards as he wandered during the breaks with a weasel who was alternately friendly and aggressive depending on what afforded the best view!

Burlesque performances by Saphire Bluebird and Seker Paré ensured there was more than a little of the risque about the night, from the grace of burlesque en pointe to a rockin’ little number to Right Said Fred’s ‘I’m Too Sexy’. Saphire Bluebird’s en pointe burlesque was a cheeky take on classical dance, nicely subverting expectations without loosing any of the grace and poise it was lovingly making fun of. In contrast when Seker Paré and Tammy Paks took to the stage to ‘I’m Too Sexy’ glamour was not on the cards, instead it was a rockin’ duet strip that had the audience clapping their hands and laughing along.

The musical stylings of Cuddlefish and Jonathon Davis were well received. In particular the semi-satirical songs of Cuddlefish which were thought provoking and humourous at the same time. Tucked away in a corner the duo played and sang out of the darkness which only increased the intimate atmosphere. Jonathon Davis started out with both kinds of music, Country and Western. The soulful ballad a perfect match for his voice if incongrous with his appearance. In his second appearance he threw the western songbook out the widow in favour of fabulous redition of Rocky Horror’s ‘Sweet Transvestite’ which had the audience cheering and sining along in moments.

All in all ALEV was a fantastic night, the Kremlin bar’s cocktails were delicious as always and the audience all had a thoroughly good time. I for one can’t wait for the next event, apparently it will be just in time for Halloween!

If yout want information on future shows check out their facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/pages/ALEV

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