Auckland Fringe Festival review: Salon Mika
Guest Blog from The Liberal Agenda
Excuse me I just need a moment. *fans self frantically*
Salon Mika is up there with the sexiest things I’ve experienced with my clothes on. There was poetry and jazz and burlesque and dance and sexy men in hot-pants ground (grinded?) upon me. And I’m quite excited by the whole experience.
You know when you experience art that leaves you tingling because of its energy and genuineness? Well Salon Mika is one of those. I am on a total high right now because of how fun and genuine (and yes, I know I’ve already used that word but it’s the best one for it) it was. This is cabaret in earnest. Some of the performers are virgins to the stage, others are seasoned professionals. All are having a bloody good time.
Highlights for me include the bilingual Skyfall and Leda Petit. It’s understandable why Mika was so keen to have this talented burlesque dancer join his troupe. She is sex in a sequined corset. Megan Alatini, a guest jazz vocalist, is also sensational with one of those voices that you just want to listen to more of. In true cabaret style, the performers all roam (aided by mohawked top-to-toe-lycraed boys with travelling spots) so it doesn’t matter where you end up, you will feel a part of the action. If you’re by the bar (as I was) you will most likely have a groin in your face at some point (as I did (that’s not necessarily a complaint)).
The costuming and set are creative and adventurous. The set reminds me a bit of a High School Haunted House set up in a gymnasium. But not in a derogatory way at all. I couldn’t work out why I liked it so much at first. Then I realised it’s because it feels like its been put together by humans, which is a really nice touch. The same goes for the costumes too. Throughout the whole show you feel very much like you’ve been let into this fun little project of their's which is less about polish and more about soul. Mika, and the rest of the cast in fact, are the types who will start a conversation with you as you congratulate them on your way out. It all contributes to a sense of being in on something quite spesh.
I’m not sure how it is that Mika is not more world famous (or at least more world famous in New Zealand) but I’m not complaining because it means it’s still possible to pick up tickets to his shows for $25 ($12 for concessions). Highly recommended.
SALON MIKA Wed 13 - Sat 16 Feb, 8.30pm. Wed 20 - Sat 23 Feb 8.30pm.