From the moment she greets every audience member with a handshake and hello, Matthews has us eating out of her hand. Not ten minutes in, we are mourning the death of Donna Summer and singing along to MacArthur Park. That takes charisma – and balls.
In a voice as big, beautiful, and varied as her native Canada, Matthews rips through a series of musical mash-ups that not only showcase her pipes, but also her intellect, as she has a knack for finding connections between songs by exploring their lyrics for secondary meanings. She also provides hilarious running commentary while she’s singing them.
Between tunes, she tells us about her career – theatre, cabaret, telly talent shows – she tears a strip off the Kardashians, and explores the idea of prostitutes as role models. From there she segues into the very funny “Hooker Medley 2012 Redux”…
Her professional polish is obvious and she’s mastered the art of audience interaction, never forgetting a name or a biographical detail.
There’s a long, poignant story about high school that has us all misty-eyed, followed by a version of Creep that suddenly feels entirely new, and extremely personal. After a chilling version of Hotel California, she closes with Bohemian Rhapsody. I thought she’d burst a blood vessel – or that I would, from laughing.
Until 27 August. Today 3:40pm.