Saturday, 4 December 1999
He Did It Her Way, 4 Dec 1999
At Capers until December 4 to 23, 1999
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
What draws like a magnet, the most conservative audiences from the suburbs to see drag queens? Is it the fascination with otherness, or possibly the desire to rub up against a different sexual preference? Someone must have written a PhD on it by now.
Whatever it is, Carlotta, the Sydney drag queen, has an almost fully booked Christmas season at Capers, the cabaret venue with a fine host,, great a la carte menu and varied line-up.
Carlotta, who started in the Cross with Sammy Lee's shows, mimes songs, parades sequined gowns, and wears feathers and headdresses to make Carmen Miranda faint with envy.
She crosses the line of taste more often than some will like, but her ad-libbed humour is hilarious much of the time. There are audience members who clap like seals at any blue reference, others who turn to gaping children at her saline breast-flashing.
The irony is that, in spite of her very sexy and beautiful female appearance, Carlotta spends rather a lot of time talking about penises and sex in a way only men do.
Although she is renowned for impersonating women, her funniest impersonation is about the vanity of men as they men preen in front of the mirror in the loos.
Carlotta has a good contralto voice but she mimes songs by glittering female stars. She opens with Shirley Bassey's Big Spender and follows with Julie Andrews' Star, Dusty Springfield's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me then hits the volume with Tina Turner's My Way.
Carlotta alternately abuses and shmoozes her audience. She slips from blue humour to serious talk about Care Australia. He stories about her life on the road are often compelling. She as the model for Terrence Stamp's character in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert . In fact, she still does the desert tours with a company of boy-girls in feathers and tits.
The show is very loose in parts but, when it is tight, it is terrific. You Can bet Carlotta will get a gag out of that line!
by Kate Herbert