It was my very first time at The Butterfly Club and I already had quite high expectations. It was my first trip to Australia and to Melbourne as well, and I had already visited plenty of impressive places, yet it was an evening at The Butterfly Club I was looking forward to the most. Famous for hosting Melbourne’s finest cabaret and burlesque The Butterfly Club is every alternative person’s dream! The unsuspecting grey building houses 3 floors of bars and stages, as well as a smoking terrace. The interior looks like a charity shop exploded with a variety of assorted furniture, decorations, books, knickknacks and chachkies. Despite the organized chaos, the interior welcomes all newcomers and seasoned cabaret connoisseurs alike.
On Thursday, January 8 Miss Bouzy Rouge debuted her new stage show of 2015. I have never heard of her prior to that night but knowing The Butterfly Club’s reputation, I had no doubt it would be a good show. Grabbing a drink at the bar, I headed inside to see the show. Walking towards the seats, I was instantly greeted by a lady in hair rollers and a dressing gown. She was quickly gathering the knickers she had just washed from the chairs. The stage was covered in clothing, magazines, make-up and an open suitcase. When the audience settled into their seats, the young woman poured herself a hot toddy and began telling her story. As a “starving artist” Sarah often has troubles paying her bills on time, getting gigs and staying a-float. She dreams of being a star like her idol, Miss Bouzy Rougue, the international cabaret sensation. Going to glamourous parties, having famous friends, and making lots of money is the life any performer would kill for. Unfortunately Sarah explained that her last gig was more like amateur porn than singing in a beautiful club. The character of “Sarah” was very similar to Sarah Goussé, the young woman presenting the show. Since she was a young girl, she dreamt of being a glamourous superstar and by the age of 30, Sarah did not feel like she had quite achieved her goal yet
Sarah told her coming of age story and how she grew up and learned to love her body shape and size. It was then that she sang a most delightful mashup of the pop songs “All About the Bass” and “Milkshake,” much to my trill and surprise. She also revealed her experiences in University studying performing arts and her liaisons with various men. Upon acquainting herself with the audience, Sarah requested some volunteers to help her get dressed for her performance. While two people held up a sheet, I was lucky enough to help Ms Sarah get into a fabulous floral gown. She then disappeared behind the curtain to add the finishing touches to her outfit.
After two minutes of anticipation, the star emerged from behind the curtain. Only, it was not Sarah, but the real Miss Bouzy Rouge! Sporting a giant feather headdress, the French star bewitched the audience with her magnificent presence. Much like Sarah, she regaled the audience with her tales of sexual mishaps and spotty resume on the journey to becoming successful. Taking her name from the club Le Bouzy Rouge in Paris, Ms Rouge has traveled and performed all over the world, and much like Sarah has had hard-ships, especially in love. Singing a delectable mix of jazz songs in both English and French, musical theatre numbers and clever remakes of much loved classics, sometimes even with audience participation, Bouzy charms the audience and takes them on a rollercoaster of emotions. My own personal high was hearing a Frenchified version of “Popular,” from my favourite musical “Wicked.”
Upon entering The Butterfly Club, I had no idea who Miss Bouzy Rouge was. By the end of the performance, I was surprised just how familiar this character had become. The audience and myself had both been caught off guard by the sudden transformation of Sarah into Miss Bouzy Rouge. This was not only a character projection of internal desires, but a manifestation of what all people wish to achieve, success and happiness. Miss Bouzy is not all that different from Sarah after all. Both are fabulous, talented and highly entertaining! The opening night of The Misadventures of Miss Bouzy Rouge had truly been a fabulous glittery success.
I wish Sarah and Ms Rouge the very best in their upcoming Adelaide Fringe .