Burlesque through the eyes of Minsky Malone
It’s getting hot in Northcote as twenty-five talented performers sing, dance, and strip their way through Burlesque Through the Eyes of Minsky Malone’s sizzling stage. For five nights only, Northcote Town Hall will play host to Minsky Malone’s tantalizing display, surely only releasing its breath after the nipple tassels, garters and champagne glasses have retired from this year’s festival.
Since moving to Melbourne five years ago, Minsky Malone (aka Charlie Robinson) has been a building up an impressive resume, creating shows in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria and being named the top New Years Eve event by the Age.
This year’s performance is no exception to the quality that Melbournians have come to anticipate and albeit expect of Malone’s shows. Burlesque Through the Eyes of Minsky Malone is an energetic, engaging and well-rehearsed show, interestingly told and rooted in history so that the grittiness of stripping is presented in an intellectual and interesting light. As my boyfriend claims, Malone’s burlesque act is naughty and nice.
This performance is one of the larger events at the Fringe Festival and for this expectations are high. Well, Malone delivers as the dancers flex their toes on point and move through highly choreographed sequences. Slipping into a more explicit mood as the night wears on, the show presents its audiences with key dances such as the Cha Cha and the Tango, along with profiles of historical burlesque dancers. Little slip-ups work favourably for the show, reminding the audience that the performers are running on sheer skill and practice. To those who desire an interactive experience, be sure to choose an aisle seat and you won’t be disappointed. The costumes are also a veritable delight, ultimately reinforcing Burlesque Through the Eyes of Minsky Malone’s philosophy that burlesque is also about dreams and romance.
If it isn’t clear yet that Burlesque Through the Eyes of Minsky Malone is also appealing to a female audience, then perhaps the magician—think Hugh Jackman in The Prestige come to life—will convince you. Opening the show, his act is both crafty as it is easy on the eyes. The bunny rabbit also wins points with the ladies...
Alas, it is only the location - a big, empty, echoing hall - that betrays the show, for the seating is not elevated and makes the craning of necks a common sight. Another problem is the sound, however that is an issue that will surely be remedied by the next show. The overall effect? Burlesque Through the Eyes of Minsky Malone proves to be reminiscent of a school production, except with adults. And sexier.