First World Problems

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ISN’T it ironic, don’t you think? Yes, a little too ironic that the day I am meant to be reviewing a show called First World White Girls, every imaginable First World problem rears its ugly head. I wake up from a delectable deep sleep courtesy of last night’s meditation class (First World White Girls love yoga and meditation) and wonder what the universe has in store for me this day. Like other First World White Girls around the planet, I reach over in bed for my MacBook Air (you don’t expect me to sleep with a PC, do you?) and switch it on, only to find one of those mosquito bite emails that is going to itch all day. I sigh, and go and make my Vietnamese coffee (I’d rather DIE than drink instant), check a few more emails, and get ready for my yoga class.

Photo by Nick Morrissey

Photo by Nick Morrissey


There’s a green tea (First World White Girls adore green tea) and avocado on Ryvita before I have to head to a GP appointment in my air-conditioned car (I mean, really, who can live without aircon?). But wouldn’t you know it, I have to wait a whole 30 minutes in the doctor’s surgery (OK, it was on a comfy seat, with a flat screen TV, my iPhone and magazines to keep me company). I get free blood tests and pay $75 for my appointment, of which I will receive $37 back on Medicare (You mean I have to PAY something for great health care). My female doctor (yes, a woman) pens a string of scripts for other things, like valium, which are designed to make my White Girl First World more bearable.
Photo by Nick Morrissey

Photo by Nick Morrissey


I head off to lunch – sushi of course – with a gay male friend (First World White Girls always have gay male friends), and while waiting for my second green tea of the day and my lunch, my mate and me take turns at complaining about our mornings. Lunch takes 30 minutes to arrive, a point I make of mentioning to the waiter (does he not KNOW I’m busy?) and on the way home I pick up a skinny chai latte (First World White Girls love chai latte). But I’m annoyed as I go to pay with the spare $50 floating around my wallet and wouldn’t you know it, the till is stuck and I can neither pay nor receive my chai. Just as that serious issue is fixed, I head upstairs in the shopping centre to pick up my library books (which cost me 50 cents to reserve) but I can’t just swipe my card and leave, as I owe the library $10.20. This time my eftpos card won’t work, and so I have to pay in cash. I mean, how annoying, right?
Photo by Nick Morrissey

Photo by Nick Morrissey


The afternoon is spent writing, emailing and surfing Facebook until I have to knock off early and have a long, hot bath (my First World White Girl muscles are tight from all the yoga, you see) before picking up my friend for the show. But I get stuck in traffic in my air-conditioned car, and while I listen to music on my choice of radio stations, I shake my head at what a First World White Girl day I’m having. My friend jumps in my vehicle and we complain all the way to Brisbane’s Judith Wright Centre, where we stop briefly for a burger before the show. I’m relieved to find the burger joint also sells wine, I mean, after the incredibly GRUELLING day I’ve had, how could ANYONE go without wine. I snatch another one just before we enter the theatre.
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If you see nothing else this year, try to get to a production of First World White Girls somewhere around Australia for this is quite possibly the best reminder you will ever have of what a fortunate life we lead. Written, composed and performed by Brisbane cabaret artists Judy Hainsworth and Kaitlin Oliver Parker, this one-hour performance is punchy and perky without being at all preachy. Dressed in floral frocks, faux fur stoles, beige shoes and hair that is coiffed to perfection, the two proceed to entertain the audience with their singing, dancing and dialogue. “Just because we have food, water and espresso pods, doesn’t mean life is easy for us,” they quip, in between sipping on San Pellegrino bottles, with a straw.
Photo by Nick Morrissey

Photo by Nick Morrissey


In fact, the audience is invited to participate, by writing down one (just one) First World problem on a piece of paper, which is then collected in a Tiffany bag, and read out at random. I wrote: “I can’t find a boyfriend” and regular
Global Goddess readers will know this is a life-threatening issue for me. There’s even a checklist to discern whether you are a First World White Girl which includes:
• If you throw a fit when there’s no free wi-fi
• If you chip your $80 manicure
• If you get teased for owning an Android phone
• If your friend spoils the end of Game of Thrones before you get a chance to watch it
• If you get a disastrous spray tan the day before you are bridesmaid at your best friend’s wedding
I know, I know! These are all very real issues, and I’m not sure why the UN isn’t stepping in to solve them.
Photo by Nick Morrissey

Photo by Nick Morrissey


By the end of this show you will have laughed your head off (that doesn’t literally happen in the First World) and taken a good, hard look at yourself. This performance may not solve all of the planet’s issues, but it does take a giant leap towards solving some of our First World Problems.
The Global Goddess was a guest of the Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts, which has a great program of eclectic performances throughout the year – http://www.judithwrightcentre.com To see where First World White Girls are playing next go to http://www.firstworldwhitegirls.com.au
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Why? Because we Can-Can

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IT’S a wretched Wednesday of dastardly deadlines and tawdry tax returns. A day which begs to end with a bottle of red and in the foetal position, not a drive to the Gold Coast in unpredictable traffic. But life is a funny flirt and I find myself frocking up, fishnets and all, stopping to pick up an old friend on the way. We use the journey to catch up – on life and love, words and work, wealth, health and happiness. The drive passes in a fabulous flash, two garrulous girlfriends snatching a moment in our otherwise busy lives. We arrive on time, champagne and strawberry in hand, and plonk ourselves down in the theatre.
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Opening night of Cabaret De Paris at Jupiters Hotel & Casino opens with a flurry of flame red feathers and big, bare breasts. Yes, those teases glitz and glamour have returned to this Gold Coast institution, channelling Paris in this new show reminiscent of the Moulin Rouge. And this performance has brought with it flaxen-haired Marissa Burgess, billed as the Longest Serving Star in the Moulin Rouge’s 120-year history.
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It’s cheeky Cabaret as we know it, a dash of nice, a splash of naughty, some wizardy, magic, pole artistry and a touch of comedy. There’s more boobs and plenty of bums in this stage show and you’ll find yourself toe tapping to some of the upbeat numbers such as Parlez Vous Francais and Abba’s Voulez Vous. At the same time, it will make you wish you’d been to yoga class a little more lately, such is the flexibility and strength of some of the performers.
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More than $250,000 has been spent on creating the bejewelled costumes which make this show visually spectacular and, harking back to the Moulin Rouge and a first for the new Jupiters Theatre, guests can also experience Cabaret De Paris in quintessential cabaret style with round-table VIP seating. All the better to see the boobs and bums, I say. But the real scene stealer lies surprisingly in the lone comedian on his bike. Acrobatic cyclist Justin Case is pole thin and a rodeo clown among the bedazzling bullfight before you, and packs a punch with his wit as much as his skill on his cycle. I won’t spoil the surprise but there’s a lovely moment which will have you on the edge of your seat from this charming comic.
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The show ends with more furious feathers. On the drive home I ponder my original question of the day, about whether we should flirt with life, even on days when we don’t feel like it. The words of the show’s star Marissa Burgess, sung so beautifully in French, swirl around in my head – Non Regrette Rien – No Regrets. Should we fully participate in this thing called living? The answer is undoubtedly yes. Because we Can-Can.
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The Global Goddess was a guest of Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Cabaret De Paris runs until October 11 with nightly performances Tuesday through Saturday at 7.30pm, Sundays at 4pm, Wednesday 1pm Matinees, and a Saturday Matinee starting at 3pm. Tickets are on sale through Ticketek at http://www.ticketek.com.au or by calling 132 849 or from the Jupiters Box Office.
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