It’s hard to tire of variety shows such as this, particularly when they are pulling in consistently excellent acts ranging from the highly acclaimed Boy with Tape on his Face to mentalist Doug Segal to juggler Mat Ricardo to spoof German rock band, Die Roten Punkte; this show is certainly offering a lot of variety and high quality variety at that. Furthermore, each act is given a longer slot than at some other variety shows, really giving them a chance to use the time well to develop meaningful connections with the audience and showcase their talents.
Unfortunately, this is something that Lili La Scala herself never manages to do. She only comes to the stage for five minutes at a time, or sometimes merely for a few words. She sings her songs without giving them any context, giving no reason for their presence and therefore making them seem rather pointless and defunct. Although she did interact with the audience, it seemed disingenuous and slightly forced. She came across as the weakest part of the entire show.
Her occasional attempts at audience interaction were fleeting and throwaway and her opening song, stating that ‘What Lili Wants, Lili gets’ seemed to lack any real conviction. Later in the show she took on various ambitious covers, including Don’t Rain on My Parade: a momentous show tune that is difficult to pull off at the best of times. Unfortunately in this case, La Scala was consistently out of time and, although she could hit the money notes, the other notes weren’t really given enough consideration. As the songs were all sang to a backing track, there was little room for her to manoeuvre, which doesn’t work as well with cabaret, adding to the forced, uncomfortable nature of the entire show. Her closing song, Mein Herr, was as disappointing as her other numbers, with little warmth and little or no movement, making it a thoroughly tedious anti-climax for the end of the show.
Despite having such an un-engaging host, the show was enjoyable. However, as the title suggests, it really is just ‘another f*cking variety show’.