Anyone who loves old movies - the kind with style and pizzazz, the kind where women were women and men were men and there was nothing in between, the kind where a good double entendre was better than the deepest philosophical thought in history - will adore this show. Both these women were girls brought up on the stage. Both of them were irresistible to men. Both of them had minds (and bodies) of their own.
Rita Hayworth was the woman every man wanted and her face even made it onto the side of a nuclear bomb. Causing a sensation with a one-glove striptease in Gilda, Hayworth was the pin-up 'it' girl for GI Joes in WW2 and she had 5 husbands to prove it.
Mae West was the woman we all want to be. Whatever West wanted to do, she did. If she wanted to sing, she wrote her own songs. If she wanted to act, she wrote her own films. If she wanted to entertain, she wrote her own jokes. Seemingly not afraid of anything other than to not live life to the fullest, West made her way in the world and made sure everyone had a good time travelling with her. The master of the double entendre, West was in constant argument with censorship boards and even ended up in jail at one point. At one point, though, she was also the second richest person in America.
Melody and Lucinda Beck have worked hard on this pair and have created a magical evening of nostalgia. As we travel the careers of these two amazing screen legends, the Beck sisters give us all of the elegant ambience and sexual sizzle Hayworth and West were known for. With long black gowns, hour-glass figures, and dripping diamonds and fur (faux), we are transported immediately to a time almost long forgotten in our dress down, be comfortable era of today.
Every so often I see a show and I realise I know exactly were it should be. The Sin-Sational Rita & Mae should be on the stages of the great casinos of the world - especially in America. The Beck sisters, accompanied by the time honoured elegance of a simple piano, sashay their way through some of the best boom tish jokes which ever came out of Hollywood such as "you only live once but if you do it right, once is enough", and "when I'm good I'm very, very good, but when I'm bad I'm better".
The Becks have even managed to capture the vocal quality in the singing style of that era. Think the original Disney Snow White movie with lots of trills and sitting in the soprano range. There is some shrillness in the duets at time, but in the solos their voices are magnificent. The exception is the amazing version of 'It's Now Or Never' which will leave tears in the eyes with its classical virtuosity.
If you love old Hollywood you really can't miss this show. It is on early though, so perhaps just head to The Butterfly Club straight after work, grab your first cocktail of the evening and revisit the glitz, glam and glory of the heyday of film, before heading off to create your own night of decadence and desire.