As part of the Hum Series produced by Joymas Creative, Queenie Van Der Zandt performed her one night only Cabaret in 12 Easy Steps, at the Judith Wright Centre with all the proceeds going to the Actors Benevolent Fund to help QLD artists affected by the Flood.
Cabaret in 12 Easy Steps was quintessentially Queenie – Hilarious with A-mazing vocals. The concept of the show was an amusing lesson in the art form that is Cabaret. And Queenie, like the hardcore addict that she is, having been to cabaret rehab and back, shared with us her 12 Step program, involving projected video of her humble beginnings with an Andrew Llyod Webber homage at the age of 17.
The slightly embarrassing teenage footage helped demonstrate throughout the performance the good, the bad, and the ugly of cabaret. With Lucy Bermingham twinkling the ivories, the show had a perfect mixture of refreshingly new songs by Tim Minchin, Eddie Perfect, Lano and Woodley, and some old familiar favourites, including a sublime version of ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, with the standout number being from Stephen Schwartz where Queenie’s vocals which truly Defied Gravity. Which if the audience weren’t so reserved, I’m sure would have given a standing ovation then and there. We did it on the inside Queenie.
However, gratitude was shown by the audience requesting not one but two encores, in which the last song we were treated to one of Queenie’s own. I find the joy of cabaret is in the raw live element where there is leeway for spontaneity mixed with the excitement of risk where something could go wrong, like forgotten words …. or chords, but that just makes the whole thing more charming.
Like we as the audience are part of an ‘event’, a ‘happening’ which is newly created art, never to be repeated. It is not just the confident ease at which Queenie puts the audience (bar the front row), nor the casual way in which she delivers banter that makes her so funny, but the match of her verbal wit and vocal skill that is the true testament to the professional spit and polish that is Queenie Van Der Zandt.
With Queenie, life really is a Cabaret.