Awash with bright lights, glittering costumes and driving disco beats, the eponymous nightclub featured in Velvet channels the 1970s’ heyday of New York’s Studio 54, famous for its hedonistic parties, celebrity culture and embrace of sexual freedoms. Billed as a “divine discotheque circus”, you get exactly what it says on the packet and more in this sparkling and wildly entertaining love song to the disco era – a tribute to a New York club in which patrons apparently had to wade through four inches of glitter on the dance floor.
Velvet is essentially a nostalgic variety show, a heady mash-up of song, dance and circus acts. Director Craig Ilott strings together a suite of disco hits – favourites like Shake Your Groove Thing, Never Knew Love Like This Before, Last Dance and more – threaded through with a thinly sketched (though not ineffective) story of a young ingénue (Tom Oliver) on a path of self discovery and sexual awakening, guided by Australian legend of the disco era and ‘Queen of Pop’, Marcia Hines.
Joe Accaria in Velvet: A Divine Discotheque Circus. Photos © Tony Virgo
Joe Accaria hosts as music director, DJ and percussionist,...