Nexus Arts
Until 04 Mar 2020

Review by Anthony Vawser

The definitions of ‘purple’ and ‘plastic’ can be interpreted flexibly in the case of Shalom Kaa’s cabaret presentation – but ‘delightful’ and ‘heartfelt’ definitely apply.

Kaa has achieved pretty much the ideal blend of material with which to leave an audience satisfied: jokes that display a disarming sense of humour, reminiscence that reflects a poignant honesty, concluding with the upbeat singalong to end all upbeat singalongs!

Whether mixing up reggae and country flavours, surprising us with a Christian hymn, or covering/honouring his local Kiwi favourites like Lorde and Bic Runga (with his acoustic guitarist Aden Mackay to thank for outstanding accompaniment), Kaa strikes just the right balance between musical numbers, narrative interludes, funny moments, and even the kind of audience participation that only the most churlish of churls could resist.

A certain soap opera theme tune even receives a charmingly sincere rendition (owing to its NZ connections), but Kaa is too sharp a performer to let his act sink into gimmicks or shtick. We smile upon hearing of a childhood meeting with Kiri Te Kanawa, and we learn what sometimes went on at the end of a youthful gig. It all adds up to a highly rewarding night-out in the company of a cabaret artist whose skills are as impressive as their modesty is endearing.

Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)