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Cell, Block Tango: Showtunes on Modern Dating at The Butterfly Club - Review

Home > Melbourne > Cabaret | Comedy | Music
by Fiona Anderson (subscribe)
A Melbourne based writer who is a travel junkie, dedicated foodie and emerging photographer.
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It takes three to tango in this clever new show
The talented trio of Lelda Kapsis, Andrew Iles and Louise Baxter last night launched a brand new show at The Butterfly Club. Through a clever medley of show tunes, the cast provides insights into dating in an era where people meet, and pass judgment on one another, via apps on their phones.

Cell, Block Tango: Showtunes on Modern Dating at The Butterfly Club - Review
Andrew Iles, Lelda Kapsis and Louise Baxter bring their new show Cell, Block Tango to the stage


Writer and producer Louise Baxter clearly finds the current dating scene a rich source of material for the show. "When you really think about it, the concept of app dating is ridiculous. A bunch of humans staring at a flat object like the ape clutching a bone at the start of 2001: A Space Odyssey hoping to find a mate. It's primitive behaviour for an evolved species and has dredged up some pretty anti-social behaviour as a result. It's the blind leading the blind, none of us really know what we're doing," Baxter says.

Despite this less than flattering take on the dating scene, the show is nonetheless for the most part light and uplifting. Kicking off with a full-bodied version of Big Spender, the cast quickly had the audience on side and tapping along.

A transition from there into Cabaret standard Two Ladies keeps the momentum and energy going and takes the comedy up a notch.

There is a change of pace to follow, with Andrew Iles telling of a missed opportunity in dating - following it up with a heartfelt rendition of I Honestly Love You. I'm sure I wasn't the only person in the room to feel the prickling of tears in my eyes as he sang.

Cell, Block Tango: Showtunes on Modern Dating at The Butterfly Club - Review
Andrew Iles presents a heartfelt rendition of 'I Honestly Love You'


And so the show continued in this vein, with the performers taking it in turns to relate their dating horror stories and near misses.

Before the show, audience members were invited to write down their worst dating experience or pick up line (so come prepared! I couldn't think of anything). It's a light aside when the cast members read out some of the slips of paper - for example, 'I was a slave for 12 years'. But hey, it's done anonymously, be as outrageous as you like (it doesn't even need to be true)!

The show concludes with Cell, Block Tango - a variation on the rousing song of the same name (sans comma) from Chicago - but in this instance, it has nothing at all to do with jails! Cell, Block Tango is a clever adaption of the original, beautifully executed, and ensures the show finishes on a high, to rousing applause.

This is a fun, clever and entertaining show and I happily recommend it. I just wish it had gone longer! At around 45 minutes running time, it is a little shorter than many of the shows that play at The Butterfly Club, but it was also that it was so entertaining, we didn't want it to finish. As my partner, Dave, said as we left the theatre: 'I could have kept watching that for hours'.

Cell, Block Tango: Showtunes on Modern Dating at The Butterfly Club - Review
Beedle dee, dee dee dee, two ladies - the casts' take on the Cabaret standard


I feel that minor tweaks could be made to the lighting, as there seemed to be a lot of black spots on stage (and the performers were on occasion getting lost); and also, that Kapsis and Iles could be more sensitive to the soft and sweet voice of Baxter, which couldn't compete with their stronger projection. However, these are minor grumbles and did not detract from the show overall.

Cell, Block Tango plays at The Butterfly Club, Carson Place (off Little Collins Street), Melbourne at 8.30pm each night until Sunday 21st January. Tickets are $32 full, $28 concession. Click here to buy your tickets online, or call the box office on (03) 9663 8107.

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The images in this article were taken by the writer and are not to be reproduced without permission.
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Why? A fun musical cabaret that sends up dating by app
When: 8.30pm each night until Sunday 21st January
Phone: (03) 96638107
Where: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (off Little Collins Street), Melbourne
Cost: $32 full, $28 concession
Your Comment
Im so proud of you my little sis louise. I cant wait to see this. Well done to the 3 stars xxxxxx
by kayla (score: 0|2) 643 days ago
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