A sold-out show at Christchurch’s premiere pop-up theatre Little Andromeda, Peek A Boo – Vaudeville Cabaret promised a fantastic evening out. Bonita Danger Doll, true to form, brought together a stellar line up featuring some of the biggest names in Christchurch vaudeville.
With Dan Bain as MC, you can be sure of some great banter and there were even some brave, or perhaps a bit too tipsy, souls that thought they could hold their own against his sharp wit. Surely, not many would knowingly enter a verbal joust with the artistic director of The Court Jesters, but not everyone is familiar with Dan’s repartee. People are likely less familiar with his escape routine, but probably wouldn’t be surprised to know he had is own personal straitjacket.
Betty is another less common sight on the smaller stages, but this sister of Sports Suzie brought another high-quality element to the Peek A Boo line-up. Circo-Arts graduate Louise Kerr has taken her characters and skills all around the globe, so it’s undeniable that she puts on a world-class act. Betty makes for a charmingly awkward character, but while she may come off as clumsy, I doubt even the most graceful of dancers would attempt mixed juggling while atop a unicycle.
Perhaps the greatest delight was seeing Ruby Ruin‘s uniquely quirky burlesque return to the stage. Her wonderful wheel of fortune may not have favoured the audience, but she certainly carried out some of the best, and least embarrassing, audience interaction I’ve seen in a cabaret. So, don’t be afraid to raise your hand the next time Ruby needs a volunteer, because we could all do with something titillating to brag about at work.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Bonita Danger Doll never fails to bring the cities finest talent to the stage. Seeing the dynamic duo that did so much to build the burlesque industry in Christchurch sharing a stage once again was certainly an added highlight, but I must admit the show overall seemed a little safe. As the industry grows, I’d love to see more of these incredible performers pushing themselves creatively, break out of the mold, and stand out more individually. Peek A Boo was a wonderfully polished production and by no means did it disappoint, but sometimes a few rough edges can make a night more memorable.