Ideally located smack in the centre of the city, Club York has realistic hopes of establishing itself as a go-to venue for after work crowds, corporate events, and parties. It has a number of intimate function rooms that are perfect performance spaces for cabaret, burlesque, comedy, and drag shows.
An example of almost all of the above was Soiree, a one-night cabaret show created by and starring drag artist, Kara Zmatiq, performed on Friday November 11. Kara was joined by two dancer/aerialists: Tyler Heath and Alex Doyle.
Kara is a live-singing drag queen with a spectacular voice. She had appeared on Australia’s Got Talent 2016 and wowed the judges. She didn’t quite have the snarky banter of some drag queens but perhaps that isn’t her schtick.
She performed popular hits including “On A Night Like This” and “Like A Virgin”, giving them the Kara Zmatiq treatment. She also, of course, had several impressive costume changes.
Seasoned performer, Tyler Heath, had instant rapport with the crowd. He was a marvel to watch, showing off his aerial prowess on suspended hoop and silks, and displaying inconceivable strength with his balancing stances. He performed solo and with Alex Doyle.
Doyle is an emerging talent but she showed lots of promise with aerial displays and poses that defied normal human flexibility.
The audience was very buzzed pre-show; it included several of Kara’s friends plus her parents; a group celebrating a young lad’s 18th birthday; and a lively but civil hens party. With a pre-filled room of energy, you could only expect things to ramp up once the show started, but alas, that didn’t happen.
It wasn’t the performers per se, but rather the sluggish pace, lack of true cohesion, and number of long intermissions – sometimes after only one act. Quite possibly, it was the venue that required the frequent breaks (to increase the bar sales?), but there still should have been more content in between.
Sometimes, it wasn’t clear that we were actually in an intermission, with the crowd speculating about why nothing was happening.
The apparatus for the circus acts, a frame too tall to fit on stage, was placed on the floor. That was fine for aerial acts, but floor manoeuvres such as balancing acts and contortions were obscured to most of the audience who were seated at tables.
All three artists in Soiree were definitely very talented and it is worth keeping an eye out for future shows. Kara Zmatiq’s voice absolutely must be experienced before you die.