Above: (l-r)  Tyler Heath, Kara Zmatiq, Alex Doyle were the cast of  ‘Soiree Cabaret’. Featured image: Kara Zmatiq sang live at the Club York venue. Images: supplied.

It is something of a tragedy that the former Australia’s Got Talent and in-demand corporate entertainer Kara Zmatiq  is  not included in this year’s recently announced Carols By Candlelight line up.

Like any celebrated ex-reality TV songstress or star-with-a-family gracing the Carols stage, Kara Zmatiq in celebrity mode, assisted by dancers/aerialists Tyler Heath and Alex Doyle endeared her popular, public, individual and personal  journeys to us during Soiree Cabaret.

This performer’s higher profile destination in the Australian entertainment industry following network TV and considerable hard work both before and after such exposure was easily visible. Such presence and profile as well as strong  vocals could add exciting bling and a glittering  inclusiveness to the Carols stage.

All that aside, the Friday night Club York crowd were treated to a  night which featured  gripping acrobatics, still-groundbreaking live drag queen vocals, projections, audience interactions, red carpet spot shots and vox pop vids. Kara Zmatiq (with help from the organised, powerhouse marketer and very close contact Braeden Rhys) delivered several sets of humanity and humour for the eager dinner-and show punters.

Above: Dancer and Aerialist, Alex Doyle. Image: supplied

This was comfortable, easy-to-be-entertained fare for the grateful guests of Soiree Cabaret Productions.  The music, dance and aerialism plus acrobatics were augmented with just a tad of glammed up crossed-dressed cheekiness and non-hetereo-normative reality to move the night along.

Like any reality TV show contestant now displaying considerable growth, Kara Zmatiq included in the chattier sets some references to a supportive partner, legends from family and friends circles, the thrill of being a busy entertainer and a believable passion for the music being covered in the cabaret performance.

For audience this night  immersed gently in Kara Zmatiq’s firmly branded Soiree concept there was a nice supply of fabulous food, colour and movement. Also there was an oh-so-welcome absence of that  occasional, perhaps everday-viewer-alienating fierceness being bred in competitive TV franchises with gay, ‘gay-friendly’ drag and lifestyle content.

On arrival, the  Soiree Cabaret the crowd was greeted by Kara Zmatyiq with poise and charm on the red carpet for a glam photo shot of traditional warm old-school drag hospitality. This was a welcome  interpretation in our  decade of what it really means to host an event, and for a performer to be up close and genuinely grateful for their audience.

Kara Zmatiq welcomed all to this world of beautiful escape with a solid cover of ‘Welcome To Burlesque’ from the often underrated motion picture Burlesque from 2010, which starred Cher and Christina Aguilera. Music from Pink, Alanis Morrisette, INXS and a range of other sources was heard in song or as accompaniment to exciting dance solos, duets, aerialism and acrobatics.

The constant variety in this show flowed following the elegant energy  of this opening. At times there were uneasy and longish set-break lengths. Despite this occuring and being acknowledged by the star of the show, the slickness of the performance chunks once they got going was accessible, never offended and was well worth the wait.

Above: (l-r): Tyler Heath, Kara Zmatiq, Alex Doyle. Image: supplied.

Especially notable was the rich  mix of drag queen numbers, dancers with drag queen or in solo spots, circus spectacle and the pleasing success of the  combination of all of these elements which ensued in the nicely transformed space complete with video screen backdrop.

After all that we have needed to escape from globally in the recent and very queer pandemic years, this concept worked a treat to relax and distract us from challenges or negativity.  It was an impressive transportation to our shores of the effective singing-drag-queen model with a decent few decades of history in gay centres of the world other than our own.

Circus tricks with quality aerial, acro spots are being incorporated these days into everything from nite clubs to classical music concerts. Here the undeniable talent, artistry and strength  of Tyler and Alex contributing to the trinity of titillation under a portable frame was substantial highlight of the live event.

The cumulative success of the spot shows, costuming, humour, integrity and absolutely live everything tucked into a good night out saw this performer and svelte sidekicks deliver a real ‘burlesque’ for our times.

This cabaret confirms that Australia has indeed got talent! And it was shown in Soiree Cabaret to be assured, shiny, off-the-screens and refreshingly real. Quite a worldly, glitzy, early end of year party-style romp decorated Club York on this night. Kara Zmatiq and team carolled kind  greetings to the assorted  realities of those watching. They also reached out, embracing the varety of us who identify as needing to be accepted, entertained and be celebrated for the bold stars we are.