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Review – Guilty Pleasures: musical mayhem, and murder


Guilty Pleasures

Book by Josh Robson

Music by Hugo Chiarella and Robert Tripolino

Choreography by Amy Campbell

Visy Theatre

Brisbane Powerhouse

New Farm

Season: October 21 - October 25 Times: Wed–Fri 8 pm, Sat 2 pm, 8 pm, Sun 3 pm, 7 pm Ages 15+. Tickets: Full $39, Concession $34. Bookings: http://brisbanepowerhouse.org

Welcome to an hour of musical mayhem and murder when Angelique Cassimatis brings out her Guilty Pleasures, a one-woman show that delves with drama and comedy, song and dance, into the darkness of violence against women – and gives you her pretty drastic solutions.

You’ve possibly heard of the Bad Santa, well this is Bad Evita – another suitcase another murder. It’s a play that’s short on time, but big on entertainment. The book explores how love, passion, jealousy, loneliness and desperation can lead people to react far beyond the limits they thought they had.

The show opens with some great jazz from the four-piece band led by Lucy Bermingham on piano. The set was strewn with suitcases and clothing and then Angelique enters wearing a summer frock and proceeds to clear up the messy floor while singing the great song Lucky me. Each suitcase, there are six of them, tells its own story. In the first she is a happy newlywed, who is slowly browbeaten into a desperate housewife. You know something wicked is coming when, as he anger grows she savagely attacks vegetables with a vicious looking kitchen knife. The “Lucky me” of the song undergoes tonal changes that turn they happiness into bitter anger – but again little bites of laughter are allowed into the scene.

More moving and fraught with anger is the story of the European girl sold into sex slavery. A client falls for her, but the brothel owners don’t see a profit in a worker falling in love. There were no jokes in this one, just a tale of sheer misery that moved inexorably to a violent end.

There was the tale of the wife of a small time crook with ambitions to become a prohibition era gangster. This was a slow slide into domestic violence as the man became hardened and was obviously going to be looking at the wrong end of a Tommy-gun.

Much more fun was the neurotic single girl in an apartment block who developed an overbearing crush on her a new neighbour, feelings she shared with her female friend. Again here was a scenario heading for disaster.

Finally we saw the young girl, the apple of Daddy’s eye, until baby brothers arrives and grabs all the attention. She was a sweet little girl, but I guess the entire theatre knew inside that something very bad was going to happen

Then all the suitcase were neatly stacked except for one – and she took that off stage with her. Were all the stories locked away in the that small bag, or still in her head?

The stories were well told and Angelique, as well as singing with a huge voice and dancing, played all the characters. She’s a dynamic performer who crackles with energy.

The show arrived in Brisbane – Angelique’s home town, after sell-out seasons in Melbourne and Sydney. Angelique has appeared in many musicals, including King Kong, Mary Poppins, Les Miserables and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. In King Kong she understudied Ann Darrow, the lead characters and actually got on stage once to experience being lifted on the giant hand of King Kong.

After ther show: Eric Scott with Angelique Cassimatis

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