I’ve been busting to see Britney Spears: The Cabaret (formerly known as Britney Spears: ’Tegrity ) since I first read about it God knows where about a year ago, and last Wednesday, I finally saw it.
I was expecting big things from Christie Whelan, whose one woman cabaret (albeit with piano player and somewhat of a therapist/shoulder to cry on for Britney, Mathew Frank) deals with the ups and downs of Britney’s career, with a whole lot of satire and tragicomedy thrown in there.
According to faux-Britney’s Facebook page, the Sydney Morning Herald called it “hilariously sad and sadly hilarious”, which I think sums it up nicely.
The show began with Whelan singing “Circus”, with wild psych-ward Britney eyes. She went over Britney’s early career, using props such as a hula hoop and twirling baton, “learning… that crossing your legs is pretty important during a ballad on a stool” and incorporating the signature Britney “-ayy” (as in, “Oh bab-ay, bab-ayy”).
Most of the show is actually hilarious—my favourite line from the night was from the aforementioned “Lucky”: “If there’s nothing missing in my life, then why do I attack the paparazzi with an umbrella… at night?”—but towards the end, in signature cabaret style, Whelan discussed the trials and tribulations of Britney’s later life and it is genuinely saddening. The show ends on this note, which at first left an undesirable taste in my mouth, but I think that was Whelan’s goal—while Britney Spears is über-spoofable in all her white trash glory, what with dropping her kids while accessorising with Ed Hardy and Daisy Dukes, but underneath it all, she’s a deeply sad and scared girl who’s not yet a woman. And whose Dad controls her money… at night.