It was a reasonably warm Thursday night after work when I decided to catch an early show at my local bar Connections. When I walked into the venue, I was greeted to a small crowd waiting to see a whodunnit sexy noir mystery, but the real mystery? How there weren’t more people coming in to see what was a stunning display of how Burlesque can be more than just a striptease show.
The namesake of the show is Canberra local Jazida, an internationally acclaimed performer of Burlesque and Belly dancing and brings along fellow performer Artemiss Seven along as their duo partner. The show is one of the few Burlesque shows that has received a government arts grant, in this case one from the ACT state government, and by being able to invest in their show, we are all the more better for it.
Jazida takes us through a greatest hits of stunning performances, their fan dancing, drinking shaking and sword balancing on full and dynamic display. But its the other talents of singing and playing piano that also blew me and the crowd away, showing what a triple threat superstar performer Jazida is. Artemiss Seven was part private eye, part stage kitten, part MC, filling the moments with hilarity, drama and audience participation that had us all laughing and following the story with a close and keen eye. Artemiss’ mic didn’t work for the first 10-15 mins of the show, and so some of the great moments were missed unless you were right in those front rows which was disappointing.
But it was the moments when Artemiss and Jazida came together onstage finally that the chemistry between these two performers floored us all. This is a solid and well-rehearsed duo, and it made the ending of the show that much more sweeter to enjoy. You rooted for these two characters, not just because they are dynamic performers, but because their story and interaction made you invest in why you needed to catch this blinging bombshell and surrender to their charms. Their running gag on Venetian blinds was hysterical and I would like to see that trope used more in the future of this show because it was such a great set piece that excelled in bringing the show back to its noir mystery roots.
I don’t want to ruin the story of this show, as they still have an Adelaide fringe run to go, but I am so excited to see these two performers do this show again. I hope they bring it back, and take more time to promote in the tough market here. This is a show made for a black box theater, and I don’t think Connections was the right venue for it, despite being an amazing stage. Adelaide, look forward to your run of this show, because if you catch this dame, you’re going to be in for one sparkly seductive ride!