CABARET AND VARIETY
August 1-25th (not 7th, not 21st) – 9:30 pm
⭐⭐⭐⭐ (4 stars)
I always quite like it when I enter a venue and the performer is waiting to greet the audience before the show even begins. It might be out of kindness, it might be just be so they can get a quick read of their audience for that particular show. However, when I entered Assembly Checkpoint, there he was: the one and only Reuben Kaye, standing high on a chair, greeting everyone with wide eyes and an open mouth. It instantly made me smile.
Kaye quickly hops on stage and introduces himself alongside his house band, ‘The K Holes’ to thunderous applause. After admitting that his opening number may be ‘too gay an opening to the show’, Kaye really gets into his stride. His audience interaction is fantastic, especially amongst the heterosexual male members. There’s an awkwardness that this reviewer could not help but revel in.
There are some very funny moments throughout the show, from trying to prove that “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” by Celine Dion is the ultimate song to sing after any dramatic moment, to the many attempts at ‘depth’ in a cabaret show. However, the most memorable, and poignant, moment in the show is the, at points, a genuinely distressing story of a young Reuben Kaye growing up in a heteronormative Australia. I was sincerely moved by his words as I recognised that young boy in myself.
This all leads to a wonderfully camp and dazzling finale that had everyone singing along. The standing ovation at the end of the show was very well deserved indeed.
Throughout the show, Reuben Kaye jokingly boasts about how he’s won some awards along the way from different festivals. To be honest, this is a confidence that is well earned and it wouldn’t surprise me if he has a few more awards coming his way this year.