THE SPIEGEL SHOW (Luminato/New World Stage/Harbourfront). Outside York Quay Centre (235 Queens Quay West). To the end of June. $25. 416-973-4000. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Sally Bowles, that bowler-hatted chanteuse who convinced us that life is a cabaret, old chum, would fit right into the somewhat racy, decadently enjoyable world of The Spiegel Show .
The centrepiece of the Luminato festival and the finale of the New World Stage series, the show is performed in the Spiegeltent'ntavern. The experience here is as much about the incredible circular wooden venue transported from Belgium as it is about the performances. Velvet draping, copious mirrors, comfy booths, a well-stocked bar - it's the perfect place to down a pint, some chips and a side order of titillation.
The lineup changes nightly, but expect a mix of mildly raunchy burlesque acts via house troupe the Spiegelettes, some aerial performances, a bit of broad comedy, singing and some routines that defy categorization. (Opening night's unclassifiable act was dancer Marie France Forcier , who prowled the room, cat-like, her entire body seemingly painted.)
Highlights on the packed night (try to get a seat with a central view) included retro pin-up girl Mina LaFleur 's coy striptease, comic Peter Oldring 's hilariously silly bit about clogging, and a series of contortions involving candelabra by Aygul Memet and Gulnar Wayit . The aerial acts worked well in the intimate venue, and the absence of a net added a whiff of danger. In fact, the whole experience of the show, with its mysterious shadows and reflective surfaces, makes you feel that anything can happen.
And in this era of Disney-sanctioned entertainment, how refreshing to see a show that's not family-friendly.
It's too bad MC Brad Hampton doesn't add more wit and menace to his crucial role as the MC. Where's Joel Grey when you need him?