June 23, 2018
Sven Ratzke is becoming a Cabfest institution. The man is the genuine Flying Dutchman creating shows that teleport the audience from scene to scene, and while the themes and connections might fray at times, Ratzke always manages to keep the whole performance together. Homme Fatale is another example of the Ratzke recipe, a loose broad theme explored with a mix of catchy melodic originals intertwined with a reworking of classics from rock’s golden era topped off with the man’s superpowers – his wit, sense of humour and ability to charm an audience.
With a hairstyle not unlike the Statute of Liberty, Ratzke strode out in a Thierry Mugler suit to sing his original Elegant Man. From there, we moved from a lavender water hotel bath to the seedier streets of Paris (Iggy Pop’s Lust for Life – in an acoustic arrangement) with some chemical relief (another original, Medicine Man), then, from an octogenarian inhabitant of the Festival Theatre’s entrance to the urbane streets of New York (Lou Reed’s Satellite of Love from the classic Transformer), to Rome, and a limousine ride with Marcello Mastroianni to Fellini’s Cinecitta and a macho man (Bowie’s The Man Who Sold the World), finally back to New York and a blue jazz club with a dancing man (another original with Mephisto). Supported by his handsome chlamydia-infested (“Don’t let them near any koalas!”) trio of Christiano Pabst (musical director and keys), Haye Jellema (drums) and Florian Friedrich (bass) who he was willing to sell or pimp to any Adelaidies who were willing to buy, Ratzke commanded the stage dancing and gyrating like Dracula on acid. The encore of Reed’s Goodnight Ladies might have seemed an after thought, but he can’t get enough of Adelaide and we of him.