CABARET

Playboy Club Baroque

Baroque at The Playboy Club
"After Dark" With Kitsch Lounge Riot
By Michael M Sandwick

How many people get the chance to fulfil their teenage fantasy after reaching the age of fif…fff….29!? Drinks, dinner and a show at The Playboy Club. My pubescent dream, the world of Hugh Hefner was about to come true. Playboy Bunnies, champagne and glamour. Well, two out of three ain't bad!

We were met at the door by a Playboy Bunny. To say welcomed would be an exaggeration. There was no warmth or charm, just cleavage. My guest who had never been on a review in his life decided to contribute and gave our reception a 4 out of 10. Still, we felt swelegant sipping bubbles at the bar.

Baroque, the clubs' cabaret room, is pure 60s decadence. Red velvet everywhere, white linen and table lamps. I kept looking for the cast of Madmen! (I could have said my parents, but at the age of 29 that would be an impossibility!)

£65 includes the show and a 3 course set menu. Green pea and mint soup, Chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and basil with potato and caramelized onion gratin followed by chocolate caramel mousse. There is a small and very inexpensive wine list. £20 to £40 for a bottle of white, red or rosé and £35 to £120 for sparkling and champagne. I asked our Bunny for a recommendation but she hadn't seen the menu. In fact, she knew nothing about food or wine but she was very decorative. I recalled the basic principle of form following function as I followed her form.

The food was decent but with everyone served at the same time it all felt a bit “tour group”. For £45 one could expect a bit of choice and food made to order. I enjoyed the potato gratin and the shape of the dessert, a chocolate breast, was a nice touch.

Chrys Columbine Burlesque Chrys Columbine: tongue in cheek burlesque
The entertainment on the other hand, was fabulous. David Julien, a finalist on The Voice opened with a bang. An accomplished vocalist, he mostly performed his own material but ended with a fine rendition of Adele's 'Someone Like You'.

The Tootsie Rollers, a vintage girl group were ab fab performing American Songbook favourites with a few modern twists. Their six part harmony is very tight and beautifully arranged. Changing Gershwin's brilliant 'S'wonderful, S'marvellous' to 'it's wonderful, it's marvellous' however was neither wonderful nor marvellous and the bit of tap dancing that was thrown in was more hap dash than flash. Otherwise, full marks.

Two strippers added the obligatory burlesque to the evening. Jolie Papillion was classic, stripping to 40's big band. At first her musicality was spot on but by the end her sizzle fizzled. Chrys Columbine did her stripping while playing Chopin's Nocturne in C# minor with her tongue in her cheek the whole time. Divine! And she never missed a beat!

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