How does one describe a cabaret happening? Meow Meow, the stage name of Australian cabaret performer Melissa Madden Gray, created just that at the Sony Theater Thursday night. Backed by Thomas Lauderdale and the Pink Martini band she delivered the most unusual show that I have ever seen. The lady has an incredible vocal range and can deliver a song that can make you laugh or cry..
Meow Meow (Melissa) created the role of Maîtresse in the West End musical adaptation of The Umbrellas of Cherbourg and has toured with her cabaret act all over the world. She engages the audience throughout the show. Meow Meow goes on and off stage looking for men to bring onto the stage. When she finds just the right man and they join her on stage she use them as props as she sings Jacqus Brel 1959 hit “‘Ne Me Quitte pas”. As she is singing the men are instructed to stroke her leg, but only from the knee down.
In between numbers she “complains” that she has to do everything on stage herself so she brings on a fog machine to give atmosphere as she is singing. For another number, she brings on a turn table and asks an audience member to slowly spin her as she sings.
Toward the end of the show, she “complains” that a trapezes was not provided and she usually swings into the audience as she sings. Since there is no trapezes, she ask the audience to help her as she crowd surfs.
For her final songs she “complains” that she doesn’t have a spot light, so she takes out a flashlight from her bag and shines it on her self as she exits into the audience and leaves the room.
Meow, Meow is an experience. I enjoyed the show, but wished she would stop the schtick for just a little while and shower us with her gifted voice and interpretations.