Lola’s love labours are lost
Lola, that normally irrepressible mega-confident frontman for numerous burlesque shows, is but a shadow of his usual saucy mischievous self.
Despite being dressed to the ‘tens’, with outrageous emerald green ostrichfeather ‘toosh explosion’ and bespangled peacock-coloured vest, net stockings and high heels, the pompadoured showman apologetically drifts onstage in an aimless woebegone way.
He mooches despondently past the sequined cacti, the pair of coffins and skeletons before announcing in the opening song ‘‘I’m too sad to cry...’’.
It makes it pretty obvious that Lola has been dumped, and is now trapped in the stage manifestation of emotional purgatory. All that’s missing from this love--
lorn desert are tumbleweeds and a desolate wind.
Even Lola’s stage magic skills have deserted him, failing to fire during a desperate duel with the devil, a loss that temporarily consigns him to a hell where the denizens wear beige-coloured clothing and flat shoes.
The 50-minute show is a singing dissertation by the broken-hearted impresario recounting an ill-fated love affair involving a married man, and working through the various stages of the emotional funk.
The signature Lola is back during portions of these reminiscences, some of which involve reworkings of well-known songs, including a pre-recorded phone duet with the ‘wife’.
It’s this, however, that highlights the lack of vocal variety elsewhere.
Not that Lola isn’t capable of expressing light and shade, but for such an intimate venue as The Dark Room, these vocals were pitched way too loud and the songs delivered at an intensity that somewhat countered attempts by the character to present a vulnerable, humbler and softer side.
Despite the downbeat theme, there were plenty of laughs and the show seemed over far too quickly, while any wisdom from the experience was easily summed up by the almost inevitable inclusion of the song I Will Survive - endure, as this too will pass.
Lola learns a valuable lesson after surviving a romantic break-up in the latest solo show