Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Magic Mirrors Spiegeltent
Until 18 Jun 2017

Review by Luke Wagner

In 2003 Australian Idol had the entire nation gripped as its very first season aired, catapulting Guy Sebastian into fame which is going strong fourteen years later. That first season also spawned careers for Rob Mills, Paulini and (of course) Shannon Noll. But there is one star who has risen to international attention after getting a launching pad from season one of Idol. A plucky young drag queen named Courtney Act. Since her idol days, Act has represented for Australian’s in the worldwide reality competition smash hit, RuPaul’s Drag Race, coming in the top three garnering a mass following in the US and a whole new generation of fans back home.

Courtney has returned to Australia with a tribute to her homeland. In a glitzy tribute to Olivia Newton John, she arrives on stage performing “Xanadu” on roller skates. She then performs a range of songs made famous by Australians. Act shows she has a strong vocal range and this is highlighted when she performs a stunningly stripped back version of “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees in tribute to the Orlando nightclub shooting victims. Her medley of Sia songs is also a highlight.

Act has solidified her place as the queen of Australian Drag. Her appeal is broad, she can be sweet and innocent, but in the blink of an eye becomes a cheeky party girl. All this from the brilliant talent of the man behind Courtney Act, Shane Jenek. From those early years after Idol, to the post RuPaul days, Jenek has managed to have a full time career, touring the globe performing as Courtney, and on the way making some brave political standpoints.
Courtney Act and Shane Jenek are unfortunately only in town for a short stay, but with Courtney’s popularity ever growing, and reaching such a diverse crowd, this is absolutely not the last we will see of Courtney’s charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent.