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Review of Chic Bonbons at The 100 Club

Chic BonbonsFor a show of this variety, the price of the ticket is a phenomenal bargain. A feast for the eyes, Chic Bonbons delivers an exceptionally well-costume and well-choreographed burlesque performance. The show was staged at The 100 Club, the legendary music venue in the heart of central London at 100 Oxford Street that has provided unique musical performances since 1942. The venue set the perfect retro locale for the show. Small, round cabaret-style tables, which were adorned with faux candles, enabled the audience to relax and sip a cocktail while enjoying this Parisian-style evening. The burlesque troupe of eight dancers strutted their way through a two-hour recital that included a colorful assortment of solo acts and multi-performer entertainment. The mood of the music was jazzy and bluesy, along with the vast array of provocative corseted costumes, which created expectations in the audience. We expected more. But what we got was a classy display of stimulating dance routines that left more to the imagination.

While there was consistent quality of entertainment throughout the entire evening, a few individual acts stood out. One such memorable act was the first solo dancer in the second act, who was covered from each wrist to ankle in a long black lace body stocking and black feather boa. She danced with such fluidity and grace. She was obviously the recipient of years and years of classical ballet lessons. Her movements rivalled anything I’ve ever seen in the grand ballet houses around the world, except now it was all situated in a dark, Black Swan-esque environment with sexy saxophone and bass in the background. When at one point I adjusted my seating on the third row, I noticed, to my surprise and respect, that she was dancing in a ballerina’s proper pointe shoes, with black satin ribbons laced up her legs. How did this vital detail not register with me initially?

If there is one critique of this evening’s show, it was that the stage was too low to the ground, and even from the third row, I could not see the action underfoot. Many of the individual dance routines featured floorwork, with, for instance, dancers lying down on the stage floor, rolling onto their stomachs, and throwing seductive glances at the audience. Much of this interlude escaped the audience as it was impossible to see what was happening on the stage floor, even from my seat which was near the stage. Be that as it may, the dancing and the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s music won the crowd over. And just as we were settling into the show, knowing full well what to expect, the dancers startled us with a few numbers that were not perfectly situated in the ‘glamour of yesteryear.’

Perhaps this is the secret ingredient to Chic Bonbons’ success. They always keep you on your toes, wondering what’s next. Case in point: The audience were thrilled when one act featured Dolly Parton’s 1980 hit, ‘9 to 5.’ With working girls wearing risqué office attire in the form of matching knee-length black leather skirts, they danced a dramatic yet playful number to this iconic hit. Also in the same vein, another act featured KC & The Sunshine Band’s toe-tapping 1976 hit, ‘Boogie Shoes,’ with a solo dancer who was a true vision of hotness in her silver lamé bikini with matching boots. An evening with Chic Bon Bons is exactly as they describe it on the tin: ‘An experience like no other.’
4 stars

Review by Jennifer Daley

Welcome to our wonderful world of cabaret and burlesque… an incredible Parisien style performance that will leave you breathless for more… Whatever your ‘penchant’ you will find sweetness, quality and incredible taste with Chic Bonbons…

Expect a daring, dynamic and delicious cabaret cocktail taking you through memories of the glamour of yesteryear… the fragrance of violettes, whispers of l’amour, it’s all here in one glass of champagne!

Conceived upon inspiration from the unique and enigmatic world of cabaret…Parisien style! We encompass all performing arts genres but particularly pay homage to dance and an ultimate celebration of femininity. Chic BonBons provides new and exciting corporate entertainment; that is both high in quality and competitively priced.

Website: www.chicbonbons.co.uk
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ChicBonBons

Sunday 9th August 2015

Author

  • Neil Cheesman

    First becoming involved in an online theatre business in 2005 and launching londontheatre1.com in September 2013. Neil writes reviews and news articles, and has interviewed over 150 actors and actresses from the West End, Broadway, film, television, and theatre. Follow Neil on Twitter @LondonTheatre1

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