If you like 80s music, a good sing along, or just some top notch cabaret then Sunglasses At Night: The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret with Geraldine Quinn, accompanied by keyboardist Cameron Thomas, is a great way to spend a Monday night during the festival.
Introductory slides provide a background on the 80s, for those who may not be old enough to have lived through it, or as a reminder to those of us that did. It wasn’t all ra-ra skirts and girls having fun; there was also cold war and pretentious pop. This sets up for the duo to make their way to the stage, suitably attired with sunglasses, to perform Vienna with the aid of a squeaky prop.
While it is a sing along there’s no pressure on the audience to get involved immediately. The second song provides the chance to ease into singing with some call back on the chorus, and from then on Geraldine encourages everyone to join in. It’s a fun hour of well known 80s hits, from Ultra Vox to Spandau Ballet.
If you’re not familiar with all the lyrics, they are written out and projected on the screen. Even if you do know all the words off by heart, read along, as there’s amusing gags in the notes and drawings on the screen as well as from Geraldine’s performance, whether she’s breaking down the dance moves from the Love is a Battlefield film clip, or attempting to sing in another language.
Dressing up in 80s outfits is fully encouraged as there are prizes up for grabs for the best dressed and a fun spot of audience participation. I’m not usually a fan of karaoke, or singing in public in general, but I loved the song choices and everyone seems to be having so much fun you can’t help but to join in, leaving at the end with a big smile.
Geraldine is a funny host as well as being a fantastic singer, it’s just a shame that we couldn’t all jump up and join in on the Pat Benatar dance moves as well.
Sunglasses at Night: The 80s Apocalypse Sing Along Cabaret is at the Melbourne Town hall, Mondays until the 17th April