Cabaret: Amelia Ryan, Storm in a D Cup

Deep in the bowels of The Butterfly Club, cabaret performer Amelia Ryan has a storm brewing. An all-singing, all-dancing tempest. Thundering onto the stage, Ryan’s show Storm in a D Cup has returned to Melbourne for the first time since 2011—bringing with it a slew of new stories to enrapture and embarrass an audience.A self-proclaimed “disaster”, Ryan peppers Storm in a D Cup with anecdotes from her unconventional life. She speaks (and sings) candidly, recounting the discovery of her father’s homosexuality as easily as she apparently picked up all 39 parking fines.We are also given insights into her many career choices—exotic dancer, embattled children’s entertainer and test-driver of many underperforming men. Parental guidance is definitely recommended for anyone under 15 watching this show.Ryan’s show is truly about “airing her dirty laundry” and getting down to the nitty-gritty, while also providing tender moments in between the shenanigans. Ryan’s personal situation has changed dramatically since she last performed in Melbourne—going from “found Mr. Right” to “looking for Mr. Alright”. The heartfelt, melodious reflection on this lost relationship provides a poignant highlight for the show.Ryan’s whole performance borrows the music and alters the lyrics of many cabaret favourites — songs from Chicago, the musical, Gloria Gaynor and even Tim Minchin get a makeover — but admittedly, some renditions are more successful than others. There are definitely times when the show’s pacing could be improved to avoid a lull of action and intrigue in the middle.Trained at VCA in Musical Theatre, Ryan undoubtedly has a great voice. She is suitably theatrical and has the over-the-top stage presence you’d expect from a seasoned cabaret performer. She also clearly has a penchant for audience involvement; if you go along, open yourself up to the possibility of joining her backing band onstage.Another facet of Storm in a D Cup is the talent and quick-wit of her musical director and accompanist, Cameron Thomas. Not only was he pretty outstanding on piano, he also had some fantastic one-liners throughout the night.Amelia Ryan’s Storm in a D Cup is truly a comical, campy exploration of a life often resembling a disaster zone. If you’re deeply opposed to cabaret, and hate people spontaneously bursting into song, then this show probably isn’t going to change your mind. However, diehard cabaret fans and intrigued newbies might find something worthwhile underneath this ornately sequined affair. Storm in a D Cup can be seen at The Butterfly Club until May Ashleigh McMillan

May 24th 2013
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