It's been a hellish last few years for us all, and while we might not be getting off this bumpy ride any time soon, Finucane & Smith are here to ensure that we can still have a good time with their new production Future. Joy. Club. From cabaret to burlesque to dancing to singing and to everything in between, they bring together some beautiful people performing breathtaking acts in a extravaganza full of fun, laughs and love.
Mama Alto begins the show by belting out Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”. It is one of the many highlights of the night and illustrative of the premise for Future. Joy. Club, where we will survive, and we will thrive. Joining Mama is an army of onesie wearing dancers spreading the glee into the audience at the Sofitel ballroom.The first half of this "live art therapy session" feels like one big celebration for simply being here. We have earned this moment. There’s a wonderfully energetic burlesque act by Jazida and a routine by Iva Rosebud that is saucily hilarious. Other musical performers include indie singer Sophie Koh and Ngarluma jazz blues legend Lois Olney (with guitarist Dave Johnson) delivering a mix of covers and poignant original songs. Regular collaborator with Finucane & Smith is composer and musician Rachel Lewindon, who once again displays her impressive expertise as a pianist.
The second act continues this celebration but there are a few more opportunities to reflect and contemplate. Mama Alto, Koh and Olney continue to dazzle us with songs, including a bilingual version of Radiohead’s “Creep” by Koh. Jazida’s lit up-winged burlesque act is a showstopper. At times, the wings are lowered over audience members, creating a sublime sense of comfort and safety. Indian dancer Govind Pillai’s act in the second half delivers some stunning visual imagery with his costume, lighting and glitter.
And then of course, there’s Moira Finucane, whose presence on the stage is as powerful as ever. Finucane has a gift of drawing in the entire room and keeping them in the present, completely absorbed by what they are seeing. Even when she’s doing outlandish things with tomato soup or balloons, there’s a vulnerability and openness that carries out to the crowd. It’s a unique skill and Finucane is a uniquely skilled artiste.
Future. Joy. Club is an amazing return for Finucane & Smith, doing what they do so well: allowing performers and audience members to let down their hair, have a wild night of safe fun and head back into reality with their hearts full. It’s an unforgettable evening and you would be mad to let this experience pass you by.
Venue: Sofitel Melbourne on Collins, 25 Collins St, Melbourne
Season: Until 7 August | 7pm Thurs - Fri, 7pm and 9:30pm Sat, 5:30pm Sun
Duration: 120 minutes (approx)
Tickets: $48/$38 general, $78/$68 catwalk deluxe table, $88 supreme joy table (best seats in house and free drink)
Bookings: Finucane & Smith