Marriage equality is a reality in Australia and duetaholics Dean Arcuri and Miz Ima Starr are trapped in a sexless marriage. Matthew Wade caught up with Arcuri to talk about the pair’s campy new show.
When Dean Arcuri and Miz Ima Starr put together a duet show about a campy husband and wife trapped in a sexless marriage, marriage equality wasn’t yet a reality in Australia.
However, now that it is, Arcuri says it’s made The Duetaholics even more exceptional.
“Now that marriage equality has become law we realise how special it is to be performing this show at this time,” he says.
“Were we worried it would change what the show meant to us or to the audience? Not one bit – it made our celebration on stage shine even brighter as we belt out tune after tune celebrating what love, true deep love, really means.
“And when you strip away everything else, that’s what it is all about, isn’t it?”
The Duetaholics is headed to Melbourne later this month as part of Midsumma Festival, and will see Arcuri and Ima Starr reinvent their wedding reception as the ultimate gay celebration of song, with audiences invited to the head of the table.
The pair will unveil their entirely unpatented recipe for everlasting marital bliss from We Got Tonight in a go-go bar to Adele’s guide to stalking via a medley.
Arcuri says they wanted to create the show as a perfect union of their distinct cabaret styles, given both of their longstanding careers in entertainment and singing.
Arcuri has been belting out ballads and performing cheeky yet heartfelt tunes at festivals around Australia for years, while Ima Starr is a singing, wisecracking cabaret phenomenon of stage and small screen who has amassed fourteen cabaret shows, three CDs, and two dozen TV appearances.
“Throwing a wedding cabaret was the perfect way to make our duo debut,” he says.
“There’s nothing we love more than to party, and wedding are the ultimate parties. Ima Starr and I squeeze every fabulous moment that we can into 50 minutes of musical fun.
“Performing with [Ima Starr] is like a fantastic rollercoaster, she is such a firecracker and keeps me on my toes every single minute.
“I love the energy we have when we sing together and we both like to belt out tune after tune.”
Everyone has a favourite wedding memory, and Arcuri is no different, saying he tends to get carried away.
“I don’t know if it’s because the champagne is flowing or because everyone’s busting a move all night on the dance floor, but I’ve been known to leap through the air and grab the bouquet when it gets thrown around,” he says.
“And I’ll tackle a bridesmaid for it – now that marriage equality is legal, this is my moment!”
When it comes to his favourite wedding songs, Arcuri cites The Chicken Dance and Nutbush City Limits as dancefloor staples, but hints at what the upcoming show might play.
“We made sure to have the ultimate clichéd wedding song as part of the show,” he says.
“I don’t want to give too much away, but it involves some dirty dancing, and maybe even a swan lift (wink).”
The Duetaholics will play in Tasmania from January 19 – 20, Melbourne from January 31 to February 3, and Sydney from February 22 – 23. For more information and to buy tickets visit: www.duetaholics.com.