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Complete Reviews

Misbehavin'

Stage Left - Narelle Harris, September 2002

Cabaret has traditionally been edgy, exploring current events and attitudes with a subversive, cynical and sometimes sleazy eye. It's the dark side of light entertainment.

Misbehavin' proves this theatrical form still has the power to titillate and shock. Not by being crude, but by being sly, teasing, naughty and unexpected.

Let's face it though. Tania Kyriakou and Alice Carter, otherwise known as the Soubrettes, can be just so wrong.

It takes a lot of courage, and wickedness, to expect the audience to go with them on some of their journeys. Little girls warbling about their unconventional relationships with teddy bears; sweet 1960s beehived belles singing about domestic violence; a catchy new dance reflecting the post September 11 world.

But the audience does go with them. The singing is great and their wry awareness of just how inappropriate they are is perfect. At the same time you're thinking how shockingly offensive this should be, you're choking down laughter at how funny it actually is.

The Soubrettes are ably supported by The Bonér Ballet Company - whose name's origin soon becomes obvious. The dancers' contribution adds an exuberant vaudeville atmosphere to the show. The silent bellboy clown, Seymour (Krisztian Bagin) completes the sense of a 1930s cabaret, adding another layer of physical comedy.

Misbehavin' is a charmingly outrageous show, sexy and sharp. Only the venue lets it down by being a bit too large. Something more intimate and sleazier would enhance an already terrific production.