REVIEW: Suits (Auckland Live International Cabaret Season)

Review by Tim George

Jessie Cassin leads Suits


Going into Suits, I realised a) I know nothing about cabaret and b) this was not going to be a musical based on the US TV series.

It turned it it didn’t matter — if you are in the mood for some deeply personal revelations with great tunes (and Iggy Izalea), this show is the one for you. A monument to junk food, feminism, sex, hairy legs and self-love, Suits is a punkish, ragged and filthy little treasure.

Jessie Cassin, who created the show, is the star here. She has a great singing voice and a withering line in self-deprecation which makes for some exquisitely uncomfortable laughs

Featuring an eclectic playlist including the likes of Rufus Wainwright, Cyndi Lauper and Foreigner, Suits is bolshy, rambunctious and very, very funny. Part of the comedy comes from the ways Cassin segues from a specific topic (sex, her family, sex, men, feminism, sex and self-love) into each familiar hit song.

The band, comprised of Claire Cowan, Hariet Ellis and Katie Everingham, are a tight unit. Cassin finds ways to make them a part of the interplay with the audience.

If there is a flaw, it is with the acoustics — the Basement Studio is far too small for the band, and there were a few times when Cassin was drowned out by the rhythm section.

That aside, Suits is a terrific show that is worth destroying your eardrums for. The singing is great, the band’s grooves are smokin’ (their arrangement of ‘She Bop’ is worth the price of admission), and Cassin’s pseudo-radical leanings are hilariously provocative (and true). Check this one out (preferably in the front row — you won’t regret it).

Suits plays at The Basement as part of the Auckland Live International Cabaret Season until 1 Oct. Details see The Basement.

SEE ALSO: review by Nik Smythe

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