LE GATEAU CHOCOLAT
17/01/2013 - 22/01/2013
06/06/2014 - 07/06/2014
Welcome to the wonderful world of Le Gateau Chocolat – the outrageous, larger than life operatic diva, with a penchant for lycra… and an exquisite baritone voice.
Prepare yourselves Christchurch because he’s jam-packed his oversized suitcases with 72 kilos of drag and is ready to unleash a delectable confection of mesmerising songs on his unsuspecting audience. Dabbling in the dark arts of pop, jazz and musical theatre, this opera-loving maestro will carry his audience from Bassey to Radiohead, while infusing these songs’ stories with his own.
Nothing is as you’d expect, but you can count on a whirlwind of endless costume changes, a healthy dose of honesty and a collective show-stopping climax like no other.
This is an emotional kaleidoscope of a journey through the life of this Nigerian-born London boy with a law degree, unsuspecting mother and a big heart who against all odds, discovered opera, lycra, drag … and just the right amount of ass-holism.
Having performed at prestigious venues around the world including London’s Royal Opera House and the Copenhagen Opera House, Le Gateau is delighted to make his Christchurch debut at this year’s SCIRT WORLD BUSKERS FESTIVAL.
From the Tate Britain to T-Mobile ads, alternative Miss Ireland competitions, The Paul O’Grady Show and back again, Le Gateau has delighted them all!
Go on, treat yourselves to a scrumptious slice of Gateau!
One of Time Out London’s top 10 cabaret stars.
‘Treasures of untold riches await the persons brave enough to watch’ LA Times
‘Incredibly heart-warming and genuine… This is one emotional rollercoaster you’ll want to ride!’ – Rip It Up (Australia)
‘The biggest voice in town. We love Le Gateau Chocolat’s powerhouse baritone, his megawatt grin… Global domination awaits!’ TimeOut London
‘This polished performer has a stage presence which is difficult to ignore. Lycra clad, larger than life and possessing a truly breathtaking voice, Le Gateau Chocolat certainly is a stand out act at this years’ Fringe.’ – The Advertiser (Australia)
‘Few artists are really unique, but then again, few artists are Le Gateau Chocolat.” Blaze (Australia)
The Press CLUB – BUSKER PARK
Thursday 17 – Saturday 26 January
R16 – adult content (proof of age required)
1 Seat = 1 Donation ($15 preferred)
First in, first served!
Seats available from 11am on the day of the show from the WBF BOOKINGS BOOTH. Limited 8 seats per show.
Limited pre-release seats available from dashtickets.co.nz / 0800 DASH TICKETS until 12noon on Monday 14 January. Get in quick!
No BYO alcohol. Bar and food vendors onsite
No smoking, thanks!
as part of the
AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL CABARET SEASON 2014
The Concert Chamber transforms into a hotbed of decadence as THE EDGE presents a sumptuous five-night engagement of the Cabaret world’s hottest talents, as the inaugural Auckland International Cabaret Season takes place 4th – 8th June 2014, Live at the Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall.
Arriving with oversized suitcases jam-packed with 160 pounds of drag, Le Gateau Chocolat (UK), a Nigerian-born, London-based baritone, will set your senses ablaze with opera, musical theatre, jazz, and even some rap. Serving up a delectable confection of hand-picked arrangements as random as a box of chocolates, you’ll fall for his big heart, infectious energy and gargantuan voice.
AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL CABARET SEASON
Concert Chamber, Auckland Town Hall, THE EDGE.
Le Gateau Chocolat:
June 6th and June 7th, 9:30pm.
(Premium – $45, Gallery – $25, Group 6+ -$234)
Bookings through Ticketmaster – www.ticketmaster.co.nz or 09 970 9700 (booking fees apply)
Funny and moving with complexity of tone, timbre and melodic choice
Review by Cherie Moore 07th Jun 2014
The Auckland International Cabaret Festival brings Le Gateau Chocolat to the Concert Chamber this week, all the way from the UK. After a beautiful introduction from the pianist and cellist on stage, Le Gateau Chocolat appears from the back of the room, voice first, and makes his way through the audience. Adorned with a wig, dress, extravagant eye make-up and a beard, Le Gateau Chocolat is anything but what you’d expect.
The stage is divided between a lush dressing room set up: ‘backstage’; and stage space next to the musicians: ‘on stage’. A clothes rack (named Bruce) housing an array of spectacular costumes divides the two areas.
After his first number, ‘Never Said Goodbye’, Chocolat changes into a green lycra onsie covered in question marks. He tells us that this is for two reasons. 1: at this point in the show people in the audience probably have a lot of questions, like what is this show? Is he a transsexual? Why does he have a beard? Is he a Muslim? Where is his penis? And 2: because, as a man who is constantly judged on his size, colour and sexuality, the stage is where he feels most invincible, hence the superhero outfit.
Chocolat belts out some Broadway tunes (‘Children Will Listen’, ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’), some classical numbers in more than one language, and does a beautifully pared back version of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’. His rendition of ‘Old Man River’ shows his incredible range, and the lowest notes reverberate through the whole room like a train.
Chocolat’s voice is a truly wonderful instrument, and he uses it as one, displaying skill and complexity of tone, timbre and melodic choice.
This show is surprising. While visually Chocolat is a larger than life character, and musically there’s lots of big impressive moments, the connection he has with the audience and the story he is telling is incredibly open and personal. It is an imparting of wisdom, and a challenge to have the courage to really be yourself. It’s also a reminder that the running man is the best dance move there is (even in a Dalmation suit), and that there’s no such thing as too much lycra.
Le Gateau Chocolat has one more show (Saturday), so get yourself along to this funny and moving show! The festival comes to a close on Sunday which means time is fast running out for you to experience these wonderful performers, and be part of the action for what is sure to become an annual highlight on the theatre calendar.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer
Empowering, intelligent, silly and very moving
Review by Erin Harrington 18th Jan 2013
Le Gatau Chocolat, a Nigerian-born Londoner, is a drag queen par excellence. His baritone voice is delicious – there is no denying this. But those who may have come for nothing more than an hour of glittery frivolity will be surprised by the light and shade offered up within this intimate hour of song, story and glitter.
The show opens with a goosebump-inducing rendition of ‘As If We Never Said Goodbye’, and goes on to encompass musical theatre, cheesy pop and Italian opera.
Le Gateau Chocolat’s self-description – “the man, the lycra, the complete asshole” – is a bit self-deprecating, and doesn’t account for the depth of emotion encapsulated in the show. Like much drag, the show is as much about self-discovery and redemption as it is about reinvention and fantasy, and Le Gateau Chocolat offers up autobiographical anecdotes, both touching and hilarious, between the musical numbers.
The show uses the construct of theatre to play with the slippage between performance and reality, public and private, and honesty and façade. This is emphasised by the minimal set; a clothes rack, full of ridiculous lycra costumes and amazing glitzy frocks, also functions as the portal between stage and dressing room. A small dressing table with light-bulb lined mirror is the setting for a minimal and poignant performance of Radiohead’s ‘Creep’, a song that juxtaposes yearning and profound self-doubt.
All that said, the show is wickedly funny and well-paced. Le Gateau Chocolat quickly develops a strong rapport with the audience that allows him to tease, flirt and convince people to assist him in his performances, all without making anyone feel uncomfortable. The show swings from introspection to cheery defiance as easily as it shifts from Streisand to Madonna.
He is ably accompanied by a cellist and a pianist, who are integral to the show, but who manage to remain largely inconspicuous until they become a key part of the show’s gorgeous and celebratory finale.
Le Gateau Chocolat is high quality cabaret – empowering, intelligent, silly and very moving. One word: fabulous.
Copyright © in the review belongs to the reviewer