Review by Bridget Conway
With only three performances in Sydney at the Hayes Theatre Co, Dash Kruck’s I Might Take My Shirt Off might just be an easy show to miss; however it definitely isn’t one I’d recommend skipping.
I managed to catch the Sydney opening of Kruck’s cabaret: a one-hour dive into the life of Lionel, a man on the edge of heartbreak and despair after being broken up with by his boyfriend. Lionel has been forced into doing a cabaret show by his aggressive psychologist, and so appears before us as a timid and tender man who says he knows nothing about cabaret except what he’s learnt through Wikipedia entries.
What results from this is 60 minutes of touching and hilarious moments that push and pull the audience in multiple directions. This doesn’t, however, result in confusion or chaos, but instead becomes an expertly crafted story that we can all relate to. After all, we are not all black and white creatures: our stories are in fact diverse, unique, strange, and yet still beautiful.
The only moments that feel off is when Lionel himself feels off. At first this comes across a tad confusing. The awkwardness of Lionel seems so real that we aren’t sure whether the performer really does know what he’s doing. But, this ends up resulting in a great discovery. We come to realise we are not all perfect, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Kruck’s portrayal of this self-conscious and heartbroken man is presented to us in fluctuating moments of self-hatred, then boisterous and sexy performance, then in sadness and betrayal, finally ending in a happy-go-lucky finale that leaves you feeling warm and satisfied. If you’re after a cabaret show that pushes the boundaries of what you thought cabaret was all about, then rest assured I Might Take My Shirt Off will deliver.
I May Take My Shirt Off is playing at Hayes Theatre Co in Sydney on Sunday 20th, 27th September and Sunday 11th October. More details: http://www.hayestheatre.com.au/now-playing/i-might-take-my-shirt-off-2.html