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Fringe Review: Something more Glamorous: Shell shocked, burned out, …And now the weather

By Brian Carroll on June 19, 2016

48 min | Comedy, Drama, Cabaret | Mature

In this third instalment of the Something more Glamorous trilogy, cabaret producer, choreographer and actor Simon L. Lalande attempts to entice his Fringe fans of previous productions subtitled The Peacock Cabaret and Rockstars, Posters, Everybody Dies.

Lalande has recruited talented Danielle Le Saux-Farmer who has 12 theatre, film and TV productions under her belt, all in French. Now this fluently bilingual actor displays her chops in English.

Le Saux-Farmer plays Lenore, a freelance war correspondent who became enamoured with her calling in childhood by watching evening TV news. From this innocent beginning, Lenore followed her passion to become a prolific young war correspondent.

Like Sally Bowles of Cabaret, Lenore starts as a naïf who becomes engulfed by world events, in this case by war and genocide.

Like Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard, Lenore is dead at the beginning of the play and she revisits the past – her upper class family and her entertainer friends from a happier time.

OK, admittedly it’s a thin plot to hang a cabaret on, but good summer musicals should be long on singing, dancing and musical talent. A bit of current topicality may add spice to the mix, but it should be generously leavened with humour. There should be at least one character that the audience cares about. And it should be fun. Plot is secondary.

Talent this production has in spades. Le Saux-Farmer, Lalande and the two uncredited musicians have musical and dance talent to burn.

War and genocide are topical.

That leaves three problems with this production.

Unlike Sally Bowles and Norma Desmond (Sunset Boulevard), there’s little in the script to warm audience hearts to the privileged Lenore.

Audience laughter was forced during the opening performance, mostly responding to a prompter card. A sendup of Médecins Sans Frontières is only mildly amusing. A French M*A*S*H it isn’t.

Talented as the cabaret performers were, the audience was not visibly having fun.

Fans of the previous Something more Glamorous productions may enjoy this latest offering. I will watch for the talented Le Saux-Farmer in future theatre productions. But I won’t be holding my breath for a fourth instalment.

Something more Glamorous: Shell shocked, burned out, …And now the weather by Gold, Glamour and Glory is playing in Arts Court Theatre on Saturday, June 18 at 9:00pm; Monday, June 20 at 10:30pm; Thursday, June 23 at 6:30pm; Friday, June 24 at 7:30pm; Saturday, June 25 at 3:00pm. Tickets $12.