This Sunday’s Love Me fundraising concert may well be the first – and last – event ever to see beardy indie-folk troubadour Steve Smyth share the bill alongside with Sydney’s reigning drag princess Courtney Act. New York-based musical director Lance Horne has brought together a wonderful mish-mash of talented oddballs for the ACON fundraiser, including vaudeville vamp Christa Hughes, jazz songstress Elana Stone, cabaret performer Sheridan Harbridge and Montreal’s visiting Cabaret Decadanse.
One of the most well-known performers on the bill, cabaret mainstay and I Will Survive runner-up Tom Sharah, will cap off a busy Mardi Gras season with Love Me, which comes two nights after a performance of his own solo show, It’s Raining Me.
“I’ve never actually been able to see Love Me before, but I know people like iOTA and Paul Capsis have been on the bill in the past couple of years. It’s quite an exciting night of cabaret, and that’s mainly because of Lance Horne, who I’m yet to meet but I’ve heard is just an extraordinary genius” he told the Star Observer.
“And after that, I’m just as excited to be in the audience and watch the rest of the performers. I’m so excited for it, I think it’s gonna be rockin!’”
Sharah acknowledged that the line-up may seem an odd mix to some, with drag, rock, jazz and cabaret artists all rubbing shoulders. It’s all thanks to Horne, who’s performed, conducted and composed everywhere from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall and has a decade-long creative partnership with theatrical diva Meow Meow.
“I think that’s what Lance looks for – a real mix of people. It’s what makes for an interesting night of cabaret, because cabaret nowadays encompasses so many genres and styles. Also, Lance loves humour. However you want to present it is your choice, but the common through line is that everyone on the bill is a bit cheeky and self-deprecating.”
Sharah’s ubiquity at this year’s Mardi Gras – Love Me is one of several events he’s starred in over the past few weeks – is surely in no small part thanks to his memorable stint in Channel 10’s I Will Survive. Already a hardworking theatre performer, his appearance in the show has made him a man in demand.
“It’s turned my life and career upside down in the best way possible. People really underestimate the power of television. 500,000 people a week watching you is insane,” he said.
“I knew from the get-go I Will Survive wasn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it had a real cult following and the fans from that show have been great, following me after the show and being so incredibly supportive.”
INFO: Love Me, 7pm Sunday February 24, The Standard (above Kinselas). Tickets from moshtix.com.au