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World Buskers Festival

Black feathers and crafty tricks

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REVIEW: Never before have I been so captivated by cabaret.

Magician Paul Nathan and singer Dusty Limits took over Mashina Lounge for the evening, each performing separate but complimentary shows.

Dusty Limits was without a doubt, the most memorable.

His one hour show felt like five minutes as he effortlessly led the audience on an emotional rollercoaster set to music. A nod here to pianist Richard Healey whose accompaniment seemed flawless.

Dressed in a tuxedo and black feathers, Limits had the audience's attention from the outset.  

Limits is ruthless and incisively witty. His act spared nothing and no-one - Facebook, Natalie Imbruglia and Brad Pitt all fell victim to his shrewdly composed lyrics. Not even funerals were safe.

A one-man show is never easy and keeping the attention of people who've been drinking, even harder. However Limits' ability poke fun while seamlessly conquering the emotional moments kept the audience hooked.

Stage presence, is everything.

However Limits' show is not for everyone. If you are stoically religious, prudish, homophobic, close-minded and easily offended, you may want to sit this one out.

Paul Nathan's show, An Hour of Magic with Paul Nathan, is a non-stop tribute to sleight of hand.

Clad in a pin-stripe suit and polka-dot braces, Nathan has a presence to fill any room. The audience takes a while to get warmed up, but Nathan's own brand of dry humour quickly takes care of that.

It's a traditional magician's line-up - silk scarves, lit cigarettes and a bullwhip.

The real magic however, is in the card tricks.

Audience participation is high and well-received, with Nathan pulling a series of deft tricks under the spotlight.
In this instance, the technology is probably best left out. Nathan projects close-ups of some of his tricks on to screens around the bar, but the quality of the image isn't good enough to warrant the method.

Mashina Lounge isn't the best venue for cabaret. Once the liquor starts flowing, the bar is large enough for patrons near the back to assume their loud conversations can't be heard by those watching the performance.

Limits did very well to continue a flawless performance over the top of the ruckus.

The hour-long break between shows is unnecessary.

Venue aside, the Buskers Cabaret is excellent and worth every penny of the $10 admission.

Busker Cabaret
Mashina Lounge
7.30pm-10.30pm every night

Black feathers and crafty tricks

Abbie Napier

© Fairfax NZ News