Good cabaret entertains its audience. Great cabaret delights its audience. But, exceptional cabaret enchants and inspires its audience, and Queerly Beloved is exceptional.
Queerly Beloved is a cabaret show presented by jazz singer, cabaret artiste, and diva Mama Alto. The audience is seated at candlelit tables, the stage is colourfully illuminated and minimally decorated. A keyboard sits stage right and a cabaret table draped in the iconic rainbow flag sits stage left. Mama Alto arrives on stage wrapped in a transgender pride flag and asserts from the outset that her show is about queer empowerment.
Selected songs are seamlessly woven across Mama Alto’s eloquent social commentary that discusses how queer history has been, and continues to be, silenced and exposes how this has caused people to feel shame, humiliation, and rejection. The stories told throughout the show lead to poignant moments that are enhanced by a selection of powerfully delivered songs. Mama Alto’s voice is exceptional. Her refined, angelic tones trigger a delightful frisson of visceral tingles. Her accompanying pianist Mr Ginger (a.k.a. Daniel Brace) is a solid and dynamic player who is intuitive to the delicacies of Mama Alto’s performance.
Achieving intimacy in performance is essential for any great cabaret show and Mama Alto excels in this. She provides her audience with candid expression that is fierce, impulsive, and comical. Her heartfelt oration reveals her compassion and her aspiration to create a place for us, that is a safe place for all people no matter your gender preference.
Mama Alto radiates a sparkling charisma and is a beacon to the faded voices of the LGBTIQA+ community. By the end of the show we become a part of her beautiful and divine world that visions a reality without transgender violence.
Friday 17 November–Sunday 19 November 2017
Nexus Theatre, Lion Arts Centre
Adelaide Queer Arts and Cultural Festival 2017
Lighting and sound: Noni Espinosa
Image: Trent Pace Photography
You can follow Mama Alto on Facebook and listen on Soundcloud