Bridget Everett – Pound It.
The Dunstan Playhouse. Adelaide Festival Centre.
Adelaide Cabaret Festival. June 9-10. 2017
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
|Bridgett Everett at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival|
Wowsers Beware!! Big, bold, brash and brassy, the outrageous, original and diaphanous Bridget Everett bursts on to the stage, declaring with that deep, provocative voice, ‘We’re going to f**** up some s***.
I have just rushed from the Adelaide airport to make the show and I certainly got more than I expected from New York’s dynamo of smutty fun. Everett is the Siren of Body Pride, flaunting her voluminous assets in the unsuspecting faces of audience members caught in the cavern of her cleavage. At other times, she coaxes a young woman onto the stage to cavort. The unexpected presence of a fourteen year old in the audience with her mother and father adds grist to Everett’s relentless provocation. With playful glee, she orders the teenager’s father to the stage while pushing the boundaries of propriety before the daughter, who shows her own special talent in a song dedicated to oral sex. What saves Everett from the onslaught of potential offense is the sheer bravura of her performance and audience participation. The laughter is constant; the applause enthusiastic and the stoic refusal to leave the theatre until she reprises her opening number attests to the appreciation of Adelaide’s sophisticated and accepting cabaret audience..
Everett, the self-proclaimed icon of fashion, braless and switching from one op shop special to another makes bad taste her triumphant fashion statement in a show that reveals more than it seeks to hide in false modesty.. But there is much more to Everett than smut and a salute to her sexuality. With a voice that would turn coal to diamond and gravel to rich red gem, she calls forth the pain and longing of the soul from deep within the recess of her experience, her distant and detached family, suspected maternal sorrow and deep desire. Beneath her taunting and teasing titillation, brought forth occasionally by her powerhouse voice, there is a more serious aspect to her show, caught in a moment of dramatic emotion, swiftly recovered as she hurls the fractured doll of her wished-for daughter Olivia into the audience, and then exhorts two men to parade her doll daughters through the auditorium. Everett is the Sorceress of surprise and shock.
My only disappointment is that amongst the chat and confrontation there was too little of this performer’s amazing, soul searching and deeply emotive voice. Too seldom she let her voice rip with Bounce It or Ge It On. I could have been happily seduced more by her original songs or self-styled covers than her provocative threat of shameless audience participation. It was also unfortunate that her band of guitars, percussion and piano were chiefly employed to improvise backing tracks to her cavortings. On the occasions when they were given the chance to show their talents, the Dunstan Playhouse swelled to the sound of band and singer in tremendous abandonment.
The rebel from Arkansas sweeps in to Adelaide from New York with a show that will shock, stun and appeal to all who stand proud in their bodies, appreciate their sexuality and take neither themselves nor the world too seriously. Unfortunately artists appear too briefly at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Two shows and Everett is gone. There is always You Tube. If you have never seen or know nothing of Bridget Everett, search the web for anything you can find. She is the most unique and original artist to have performed her style of cabaret at any Cabaret Festival I have reviewed over the years. Once seen; once heard;once experienced; never forgotten!!