Brett Every’s first full-length show in some time was a very queer highlight in what’s been a wonderful season of queer cabaret at Sidetrack Theatre’s blackcat lounge.
It was a treat to see the performer in such an intimate yet extravagant (for a usually solo singer-songwriter) setting. Every had full band in tow, frequent musical guests and even complemented his performance with a large video screen of evocative visual backdrops.
The first half of the show served as a career retrospective, reminding audience members just how much of an underappreciated songwriting talent Every is — and one with a knack for sourcing and creating striking music videos, which were shown on the screen during several songs.
In the second act, cheekily billed as Ten Men in an Hour, Every showcased his unique voice as a queer songwriter, performing a mix of originals and covers, each with a male relationship as its central theme.
Vocal guests were plentiful as Every generously shared the stage with his peers — even surrendering the reins completely for the gorgeous Northern Lights, performed by Ali Hughes and Virginia Re while he accompanied on piano. A handful of songs with Jeremy Brennan added some grunt to proceedings, with Brennan’s musical theatre-honed vocals soaring over the ubiquitous low-flying planes performers at the Sidetrack have to battle.
The evening felt like a loving summation of Every’s career to date, so it seems appropriate that the morning after, it’s been announced that his clever video for Man Walks Into A Bar has reached the finals of the Music Video category of the International Songwriting Competition. The track was selected from a pool of more than 16,000 entrants, to be judged by musical luminaries including Tori Amos and Tom Waits.
Mardi Gras may officially finish this weekend, but blackcat lounge is running until March 10. Tonight’s Brendan Maclean show and closing night queer tribute show Homage are just a couple of the highlights of this stellar season of entertainment — catch them while you can.