Burlesque by definition is literary or dramatic work that ridicules a subject. This definition surprised me because it is certainly not what I had in mind. Dita von Teese, provocative dancing, red lipstick and curvy women are a few of my thoughts. Luckily for us skimpily clad ladies and not parody sketches is what we were privy to at the Big Top Burlesque show.
The show was held on the premises of The Blue Feather restaurant in Midrand. Having tasted their food at events like Taste of Jhb and Taste of Xmas I was excited to taste more. The erected marquee proved to be a cold venue for a winter’s night. Tickets are priced between R460 – R480 inclusive of the show and a 3 course meal.
An amateur “magician” performed tricks at each table before the show started. He didn’t fit in with the rest of the entertainment or theme. The show was cabaret style broken into two halves where the break served as time for the main course to be served. There were a variety of both individual and solo acts including acrobatics, a stint in a champagne glass, flower pots, chairs, animal costumes and police getups to name a few. I thought the solo performances were better than the group ones which tended to be out of sync. The second half of the show was more entertaining and raunchier than the first. I liked that there was great tempo that did not lag or lull. Major kudos to the dancers for the stamina and training that goes behind such a performance. This was a great experience that offered a different night out to the usual theatre or comedy show.
The best part of the show was certainly the singers. Not just mere singers they were performers as well that entertained and helped set the right atmosphere and vibe.
At close to R500 a ticket I did feel the show is too expensive and not in the league of its compatriot of dinner and show performance Madame Zingara. It lacks creation of a performance that enthrals you from the moment you enter. We got our tickets at a discounted price of R250 due to a special with Gareth Cliff so I didn’t feel ripped off by the experience.
I never expect food at large functions to be amazing but the food here was rather disappointing and unappetising. Starters were table platters of rissoles, calamari rings, kefta balls, chicken springrolls and potato croquettes. This was the equivalent of greasy fried snacks you would expect at a buffet. The calamari was cold and rubbery and the starters lacked flavour.
Mains were a choice of:
*Lamb bordelaise with cinnamon and cumin roast butternut and snap peas
*Chicken breast with rosemary and garlic velout and stirfry veg
*Creamy wild mushroom fusilli pasta with thyme
I opted for the lamb which was sad looking and below average. The portion was small which if you don’t finish all the veggies you were left hungry.
The mushroom pasta was doughy; lacked sufficient sauce and seemed like an attempt at turning a pasta dish into a risotto.
Table platters for dessert contained passion fruit mouse pastries, chocolate cream pastries and peppermint tarts. These tasted stale and were most likely reused from the previous night with a fresh sprinkling of icing sugar. Drink selections that were on offer were very limited.
The show was a unique experience and a memory that you would not easily forget. My biggest gripe was the food which did a disservice to The Blue Feather. Instead of being a showcase of the restaurants food it served as discouragement to visit. As of publishing this post the remaining shows have been cancelled which is a pity. I think the show could have done well had it been better advertised, better food or excluding dinner, and ticket prices were a little cheaper.
Dancing & Undies,