It’s been almost two years since the creators of theatrical experience, La Soirée, unveiled its sister show, Club Swizzle, for audiences at the Sydney Opera House. Now, the team finds itself occupying the iconic venue’s Studio space for another summer.
Conceived and created by Brett Haylock, Club Swizzle promises a mixed up cabaret that will leave you giddy. It combines a cast of performers from across the globe who sing, dance and undertake impressive acrobatic tricks on, around and over a cocktail bar, in a performance where no two nights are said to be the same.
Overseeing proceedings as our host is New York City’s Murray Hill, a boisterous and highly entertaining emcee whose blue humour is certainly pitched at an adult crowd from the outset. On opening night, Hill is quick to win the packed house over and sets the tone for the performances to follow.
Belgian performer Laurie Hagen has trained in ballet, musical theatre and acting, but in Club Swizzle, it’s her prowess as a burlesque artist that’s on show. While her first appearance on the stage is a strong indication of her considerable talents, it’s the reverse striptease she performs later on in the evening that most impresses audiences.
Harlem born and raised Dandy Wellington is making his first appearance here on an Australian stage, delivering polished vocal performances of jazz tracks in the vein of hits from the Big Band era. Not only are his vocals up to the task, but he looks every bit the part, decked out to evoke an authentic sense of the era. Wellington lives up to the promise of providing his audiences “well-dressed music”.
Another New York native bringing her talents to the Swizzle stage for the summer is Amy G. Having travelled the world for over a decade honing her craft, Amy G is more than adept in physical comedy, acting, singing and music playing, and she seems able to do virtually anything as a performer (one performance later in the evening, in which Amy takes aim at US president-elect Donald Trump, certainly goes a long way to prove the accuracy of that statement!) Her versatility as a cabaret performer is remarkable.
Circus artist Alice Muntz captivates with aerial hoop tricks, while four-piece band Mikey and the Nightcaps provide a suitably smooth and atmospheric soundtrack for the evening’s entertainment, assisting their Club Swizzle counterparts in their efforts to whisk audience members away to a bygone era.
Of course, at the centre of it all are The Swizzle Boys – Raphael Cruz, Joren Dawson, Tom Flanagan and Ben Lewis – whose acrobatic artistry brings everything together. From stunts on poles, to cocktails poured at heights (and odd angles), the disturbingly dextrous and athletic foursome shake and stir their patrons.
Club Swizzle may offer you some things you’ve seen before and perhaps there’s room to turn the antics up even a notch further. But as it is, this a highly enjoyable evening of entertainment that’s worth a night of your time across the sizzling Sydney summer.
CLUB SWIZZLE SEASON DETAILS
When: Until 29 January
Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House
Tickets: From $69.90 on www.sydneyoperahouse.com or by phone: (02) 9250 7777