Candy Shop Show Australia’s “Jazz Age Dance Cabaret” is a witty exploration of and tribute to the dance styles and music of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s, perfect for a weekend afternoon break from exploring the vintage treasure trove within nooks and crannies of the Woolloongabba Antiques Centre.
The concert-style performance features sultry songs and high kicks to the music of artists such as Glenn Miller, Irving Berlin, Fred Astaire and many others. Indeed, Act One sours to the historic sounds of the past, kicking off as it does with the Prohibition era’s lively Charleston (including some audience participation) and Black Bottom Dance before putting on the Ritz and moving into the romantic 1930s. And what audience member cannot help but to have a good time to the sounds of the Andrews Sisters Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy 1940s wartime swing tribute?
More than the just presentation of the music and dance of the era, however, the show is narrated with interesting explanation of the dance style origins and differences, and the historical context of each era, with the help of well-chosen film excerpts and newsreel footage. Although vocals could sometimes be stronger, it don’t mean a thing if you ain’t got that swing and it is here where the show packs its personality. Act Two proves just as energetic as we are reminded that everything old is new again, through examination of the modern renaissance from the likes of Robbie Williams, Christina Aguilera and Queen Beyoncé of the jazz and swing eras’ greatness. From the Blues Brothers to Gatsby and an All the Jazz Chicago highlight, the audience is left entertained the whole way through.
With such wide musical repertoire at its core, “Jazz Age Dance Cabaret” comes with an automatically extensive appeal and Jenny Usher (Director/Choreographer/Performer) should be commended on the show’s musical curation. This is a show that is full of fun and worthy of visit from any music, musical or dance fan.
This review is based on the reviewer’s experience of the matinee performance on May 9.
You can purchase your tickets to “Jazz Age Dance Cabaret” here.