Monday, 15 July 2013

Glory Box: Paradise, July 13, 2013 ***1/2

By Finucane & Smith
45downstairs, July 10 until Aug 11, 2013
Reviewer: Kate Herbert on July 13

Review also published  in Herald Sun  in print on July 16, 2013 and later online. KH

 Moira Finucane

Finucane & Smith’s Glory Box: Paradise is so sexy and contemporary it’ll set your bouffant hair on fire.

In a vaudeville-like programme of 19 acts, you will consume a feast of burlesque: incendiary magic, sensual dance, bizarre free-form poetry, confronting Japanese Butoh, cheeky circus, a spectacular diva and erotic costumes with exotic plumes.

Moira Finucane and Jackie Smith create ‘provocative variety’ that tests the audience’s boundaries and its willingness to accept spicy content and tasteful nudity.

Of course, everyone will have their favourite acts and mine is sassy, big-voiced singer, Sarah Ward, and her audacious, cabaret alter ego, Yana Alana, the diva with the fever.

In gowns of silver, red or blue lamรจ, this voluptuous chanteuse grabs the crowd by the throat in her duet with Finucane then comically outrages us with her lascivious, suggestive Song About Cats.

But her tour de force is the finale when the boisterous Yana Alana belts out Don’t Leave Me This Way while the cast dance with the crowd.
 Yana Alana

Clad in a slinky, sheer, cobweb of a gown, Finucane twists our brains with her commanding, Germanic spoken-word routine, Total Work Of Art, then reprises her notorious Dairy Queen, during which the front rows cower under plastic sheets for protection from jets of milk.

In Hula Oops!, Jess Love is skilful and hilarious as a jaded, slightly ticked off hula-hooper, and her skipping act is delightfully impudent and mischievous.

Bringing new meaning to magic, Ursula Martinez combines conjuring with strip tease in Hanky Panky then sets her flammable costume alight in Fire.

In her compelling act, Shiro Hebi, Yumi Umiumare merges the grotesque with the beautiful in her refined Butoh Dance, and Holly Durant and Lily Paskas create sassy dance duets, including the inspiring Big Mouth.

If you’ve never seen a Finucane and Smith burlesque show, enjoy being confronted, provoked, stimulated then chewed up and spat out by these intrepid women.

By Kate Herbert
Holly Durant & Lily Paskas

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