Chapel Off Chapel – June 24-25
Fresh-faced Willow Sizer swaggers on stage for her debut cabaret Put The Blame on Mame, a tribute to her favourite jazz artists of the 40s. Draped in a fur coat which she soon discards, she buzzes with excitable energy.
Sizer has a knack for impressions. She slips into different characters, from the brusque Jane Russell performing Big Bad Jane to the sultry Eartha Kitt, pausing occasionally to pour herself a drink from the bottle of wine on the small side table.
She keeps the mood light with dry, self-aware remarks, transitioning between artists and songs with a selection of her favourite stories and facts about the women to whom she pays homage.
The show is an insight into her own childhood as well as a brief tour through the 40s; she throws in quips about growing up in rural Victoria, rifling through the “big dubs” bargain bin and going on spirals through the depths of Youtube. Donning a headpiece adorned with plastic fruit, she tells of how she came across Carmen Miranda’s The Lady in the Tuttit Frutti Hat on one such spiral before launching into the song.
Thanking her “mumager” in the second row and the audience for indulging her, she manages to be both unapologetic and self-deprecating. Quirky, witty, and a little bit risque, Sizer’s Put The Blame on Mame is an evening filled with gorgeous vocals; it’s a pleasure to share her obvious passion for performing.