ONSITE IN EDINBURGH
If you're looking for love still, you may find yourself being pushed aside by Meow Meow. You see, this plucky Australian cabaret diva, whose proper name is Melissa Madden Gray, is also on the cat's prowl and has been unlucky thus far. Within her zany, yet vulnerable, stage persona, she emerges as her feline alter ego and retells the classic 1876 Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale, The Little Mermaid, while pairing it with her own conquest for love. No Disney version here as she is quick to point out. So expect any ver version of "Under the Sea."
Being presented by the Edinburgh International Festival, Meow Meow makes beautiful use of the elegant cabaret surroundings. Her hilarious personality shines through as she wears her heart on her sleeve. Scoping the audience for eligible male bachelors, she enlists 3 lucky lads onstage for a kooky musical bit that has them donning pastel wigs and mermaid fins. In a later section, she fantasizes how her strapping stage technician is rejiggered as a romantic Italian crooner, who arrives to interrupt her show to repair the pipes. Could he be a potential suitor within her limelight that she could be willing to share with?
Alas, the shining spotlight is too seductive for a chanteuse set on baring her musical soul. It could take a few more turns of her original ballads backed by her stellar ensemble The Siren Effect Orchestra. Also, her fetish for stage diving into the audience could into induce you to whiplash bouts of laughter. During this highlight of the evening, she uncannily directs a hesitant group down on the cabaret floor where to place their hands and to fill in the gaps. I have a hunch that while Meow Meow can sing about the fleeting bubble of love, her passion for song expression and cabaret jazz will continue as long as her audience can carry her back onto the stage.