Britney Spears: The Cabaret

Christie Whelan out-Britneys Britney!

OMG! Britney Spears: The Cabaret was like, totally surprisingly awesome.

Now I’m no Britney fan but I am a fan of Christie Whelan in Britney Spears: The Cabaret. Just reading the program notes, you know it’s a show that is going to be hilarious. “A satirical look at the perils of fame by award-winning writer/director Dean Bryant. The musical direction of Mathew Frank sees Britney’s hits transformed into cabaret songs, and seamlessly intertwined into the fabric of her life story.”

What started as a raucous over-the-top look at the giddy rise to fame as a performing puppet, we then saw the steep stomach wrenching drop of the roller-coaster ride on the way down, down, down that landed Britney in the freak side-show circus of paparazzi hell, including the shaved head incident and losing the custody of her children and even authority over her own bank account. Although, as an audience member of a show I would have liked it to end on a happier note, I guess doing a biographical representation of Britney’s train-wreck of a life doesn’t afford that opportunity.

This exceptionally talented woman, in a small black dress, had a totally captivated audience. The show was cleverly written and brilliantly executed, from a diabolical dizzying waltz arrangement of ‘Circus’, the ferocious anger of a woman scorned in ‘Womaniser’, to a heart wrenching ‘…Baby One More Time’, the musical arrangements of Mathew Frank were nothing short of masterful. If I had to choose between buying the original pop princess’s CD and the Bryant/Frank/Whelan cabaret CD, I‘d go cabaret all the way.

The “court-appointed” pianist “Frank” worked in well with Britney’s patter and masterfully matched the dynamic of her voice. And what a voice it was! Agile and commanding, Christie used her stunning vocals to great admiration and comic effect. The emotion she injected into the songs actually gave meaning to the pop-synth lyrics – who would have thought?!

She also pulled out a few surprises with a hula-hoop, tap shoes, and a twirling baton. This not only pointed out that Christie Whelan is one seriously talented chic, but high-lighted the tarnished side of the pageant smile. The sad fact is, the puppet circus of Britney’s life started very early with that freak side-show business called beauty pageants.

Britney Spears: The Cabaret takes you on an hilarious and poignant journey that gives the unconverted a new appreciation and sympathy of the circus ring that Britney has always lived in.

PS. I hope the producers of Legally Blonde get to see this show… just sayin’.

 

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

Bobbi-Lea is AussieTheatre.com's QLD Co-ordinator, writer, reviewer, and reporter. She is also an actor, presenter, and theatre/film producer for Drama Queen Productions in Brisbane. Bobbi-Lea holds a Degree in Music Theatre as well as a Degree in Film & TV, and is currently doing her Masters in Screen Production.

Bobbi-Lea Dionysius

2 thoughts on “Britney Spears: The Cabaret

  • i seen the show in melbourne and my exact thoughts were i hope the producers of Legally Blonde got to see her doing this show 

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