Soiree Cabaret, with Kara Zmatiq

Reviewed by Juliana Payne

Club York, Sydney
Friday 11 November 2022

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Birds flyin’ high you know how I feel…

A little upstairs room on York Street was briefly transformed into a Vegas showroom last night. With an MC wearing nearly as much glitter as the star of the show, and two gorgeous dancers, Kara Zmatiq really gave us the full Liberace-style glamour. She really has perfected the classic drag queen style and grace; RuPaul would never have to tell Kara to sashay away. 

Kara is everything a drag queen should be: shapely, statuesque, and stunning. She has one extra secret skill though which is unique – she sings! For real! Yes indeed, who knew you could be a drag queen without having to lip-synch for your life? Kara treats us to a fine repertoire of jazz classics and contemporary dance divas, with our Kylie OF COURSE front and centre! With a perfect pitch, rich, melodious voice, Kara delivers the audience a treat. It’s just a shame we got so little of it. I know they were all working hard, putting their whole ass into the show, but the long long breaks between the short short sets were getting the audience down. The bar did well though.

Alex Doyle and Tyler Heath added their muscly physicality to the show with stunning performances suspended from aerial silks, as well as skilled acrobatics on the floor. The venue let them down as the tiny stage couldn’t accommodate them, and the eyelines were hopeless at ground level – anyone further back than the very front tables just couldn’t see them, and damn they were worth watching, so we just stood up. There was some nice digital imagery going on upstage to give a bit of depth and interest to the room, so we could forget we were in an RSL club.

With Kara’s mum and dad in the audience, and lots of cheering woo-hooing friends, it had a bit of a coming out party vibe, with lots of teary emotional shout-outs. I was missing the bitchy-queen type jokes and insults – since when are drag queens nice to people?

But the dresses were gorgeous, the dancers were lithe and skilled, and Kara can belt out a tune to put Ethel Merman in the shade. Next time, I want more show and less of the in-between, please!

It’s a new life, it’s a new day, and I’m feelin’ good….


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