My Queer Valentine (3 stars)

This article is from 2009.

My Queer Valentine

Rick Lau sings the rainbow

‘I’m a poof, I’m a poofter, I’m a ponce. I’m a bum-boy, batty-boy, backside-artist, bugger. I’m bent,’ stated Stuart Alan Jones ten years ago in Queer as Folk, his harsh language mirroring the harsh reality of one’s very existence being controversial. Rick Lau’s musical revue starts with a similar litany of homophobic slurs but his riposte, an hour of songs by gay singers or writers, paints a fuller historical picture, ending with acceptance.

The classically trained, Hong Kong-raised Australian takes on various queer voices from musical history, from the closeted to the in-your-face, from the obvious (‘I Am What I Am’) to the comical, ably backed by piano maestro Warren Wills.

With little more stage dressing than his immense charisma and pretty boy looks, this is a restrained affair, rather than a shocking, rainbow and sequins-laden spectacle. It is testimony to the fact that now, at least in some circumstances, the queer perspective can exist in its own right, rather than as a defiant act of controversy. But there’s nothing wrong with a little fabulosity, and Lau’s great voice and professional act wouldn’t lose any of its quality with the addition of some glitz.

St George’s West, 0844 477 1000, until 30 Aug (not 18), 8pm, £10–£11 (£8–£9).

My Queer Valentine

  • 3 stars

Fire Island, army shower stall and lesbian seagulls on Noah's Ark? 'One-man tour de force' (Australian). Rick Lau takes you on a roller-coaster cabaret journey to find his rainbow utopia. Queers/non-queers all welcome.

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