Velma Celli is the all singing, all dancing drag queen, in the body of West End performer Ian Stroughair. The Hippodrome Casino’s Matcham Room is the perfect venue for a cabaret show of this calibre because Velma Celli is unlike other drag queens – she is class not crass (well mostly), with a powerful vocal range and legs that go on for miles. The show is well devised cabaret using the perfect blend of hunky backing dancers and backing tracks to showcase their dance capabilities and slower solo numbers with just a piano for accompaniment to show off the voice. A mixture of musical theatre and pop songs keeps the audience well entertained.
Last nights show saw not one but two very special guests. West End leading lady Kerry Ellis (who recently toured the UK with Ian in Rent In Concert) and Broadway impressionist and YouTube sensation Christina Bianco. Christina and Velma are about to embark on a show together at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Velma tried out some of her celebrity voice impressions on the crowd which went down a storm (A for effort!)
Both guests took to the stage for a Q&A with Velma before performing a solo song and a duet. The interview section was a great idea as allowed the audience to get to know the guests (although they did go on for quite some time).
The Velma Celli show is a true musical review that changes every time you go to see it and you can never be sure what Velma will do next. From Burlesque dancers to aerialists, there is something for everyone, I’ve seen the show a few times in the last year and you can really see how the show has progressed in that time. Dancers have matching costumes and the mixture of comedy, song and dance has been perfectly balanced to ensure the show never gets boring.
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Velma Celli can be seen next at the Hippodrome Casino on Friday 27 June 2014. Click here for tickets.