I had first heard of Spielgelworld’s adults only cabaret show Absinthe when I saw numerous posters for it around Caesars Palace in Las Vegas two years ago, the posters were eye-catching and I thought it looked like a really cool show. So when I was invited to see the media preview show two days before the real show, there was no way I was going to say no. I got to go to the top of Crown Casino that showed off a great view of the city and the Yarra River as I headed into Absinthe’s giant wooden tent designed as an old bar complete with coloured windows and tables along the edges.
Having attended this first session by myself, I should have figured I was going to be the subject of ridicule by Absinthe’s host The Gazillionaire, a foul mouthed hoot who looks like a weird cross between Borat and Anthony Kiedis from the Red Hot Chili Peppers. “How about this creepy dude?” he said about me as I was taking my notes, and as the two hot German ladies were going to do their dance routine, he said to me, “Don’t be so pervy”, to which his vibrant sidekick Penny Pibbets said, “Make sure the only thing you pull out is your pen”. The simple fact is that these two are bloody hilarious and are amazingly quick with their jokes. From that moment on, I knew I was in for many good belly laughs and I already was looking forward to the real show.
On the night of the real show, my sister and I got to sit next to the stage where the Gazillionaire and Penny would be doing their shtick; brilliant. The show started off with the Chair Stacker, a waiter who would serve the other performers “absinthe”, stack chairs on top of one another and he would raise himself up to the ceiling. Just imagine how bloody careful you’d have to be! Then four Ukrainian fellas called Lost Souls, wearing tight gym clothes I’m sure the ladies would’ve loved, had to balance themselves on top of one another and throw each other into the air, often having one guy holding himself with just one half on top of another guy’s head.
Then ballet act Duo Straps does a really sweet dance routing on stage and around in the air to the tune of the Christina Perri song ‘A Thousand Years’. After a strip tease involving fire, the two German women perform an erotic aerial hoop act in schoolgirl uniforms I’m sure men will love and make some women cringe. But after seeing a scandily clad woman squeeze herself into a big bubble, the two men of Hand Balance appear to get each other to do unimaginable poses (one lady went up and slapped one guy’s arse!). The final act was the high wire act of three men balancing themselves on a bar to get from one ledge to another. It’s so risky that the Gazillionaire has one of his few serious moments and asks the audience to be silent during their last act for concentration.
With all these wonderful, and dangerous, acts in store, it’s easy to forget all the politically incorrect humour in between acts. From the Gazillionaire calling the Ukrainian gentlemen in Lost Souls “damn Russians” to calling a group of men in the front row fags and doing a hilarious impression of the Asian accent to an Asian audience member, who later had to have two random men from the audience do a strip tease for her. And let’s not forget Penny’s sexual fantasties lived out through sock puppets. In short, this show is as hilarious as it is amazing. You’d be silly to miss out on it while it’s in Melbourne.
Originally published here at milkbarmag.com on Wednesday 1 April 2015