Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

At times it was hard to determine who was having the most fun at a performance of Shimmery Burlesque at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre.

Abbey Paige Williams (Lady Shimmery) centre with the cast of Shimmery Burlesque.

Smiles never left the face of the 20 performers who presented numerous burlesque numbers.

Then there was the audience who cheered and shouted almost non-stop during the show.

Cast members of Shimmery Burlesque.*

Written and directed by Holly Mouat, Shimmery Burlesque debuted in 2022.  The show is based on the life of Mouat’s mother, Kerrie Schultz (Shimmery Couture) – the head costume designer of the show – and as such includes a number of key moments in her life to explain how she became a costume designer for burlesque.

The show starts with Lady Shimmery (Abbey Paige Williams) a passionate young dressmaker in her Melbourne workroom explaining her background. It then moves to Paris where she discovers the art of burlesque, igniting her passion for costume design.

Cast members from left: -Lily, Dallas and Xandria.*

Her story is told through 30 songs including The Way You Look Tonight, I Get a Kick out of You, When you’re Smiling, Fly me to the Moon, Dream a Little Dream of Me, La Vie En Rose, I Love Paris and the French Can Can.

Each number was choreographed to show the skill of the burlesque performers with numerous numbers also demonstrating their skills in strip tease.  Shimmery Burlesque isn’t probably for the prudish. But judging by the reaction of the audience no one fitted that category as some of the loudest cheers occurred when the performers ‘let it all hang out!’

The audience seemed equally impressed with the many costumes on display which included plenty of rhinestones, feathers, tassels and lace. The show features over 200 handcrafted costumes, with plenty of emphasis on corsetry.   Many of the pieces were originally from Kerrie’s sewing studio while many of the fabrics used were offcuts from her life working in bridal couture.

Maple (centre) with the cast of Shimmery Burlesque.*

Having never seen a burlesque show before, Shimmery Burlesque was certainly an eye opener. Judging by the reaction of the audience, who seemed far more knowledgeable, the show highlighted everything that makes burlesque a hit with so many people. And it gave the choreography team and very enthusiastic performers the chance to shine.

Shimmery Burlesque is playing at Melbourne’s Athenaeum Theatre until May 26.  Visit the Shimmery Burlesque website for more information and tickets.

*Photo credit: Beth Watkins.

Jenny Burns attended the opening night of Shimmery Burlesque as a guest of the producers.

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