This erotic European vaudeville show-cum-circus at the Spiegeltent is as intoxicating as its namesake.
Absinthe is made up of seven regular (to use the term one way) acts who tour the world with this show, plus some local guest performers. On our visit, we were treated to the delightful Nate Cooper, who tap danced on roller skates, juggled knives, and negotiated a pair of huge platform heels, and Tom Noddy, an aging hippie-like dude who has supposedly spent 30 years blowing bubbles -- with truly outrageous results.
Singer Camille O'Sullivan, a striking brunette with an unusual vocal sound, gets the party started with an idiosyncratic rendition of Jacques Brel's "Carousel." In the second act, she scores with the slighly naughty "In These Shoes" and a haunting a cappella version of "Falling in Love Again," sung entirely in German, an homage to Marlene Dietrich, who performed the number in one of the original Spiegeltents back in the 1930s.
Fans of the male body won't be disappointed by the two masculine acts on the bill. The English Gents are a pair of good-looking blokes who perform remarkable feats of acrobatic skill and balance. The incredibly handsome David O'Mer closes the show by performing amazing aerial tricks -- shirtless and in tight jeans -- while coming in and out of a water-filled bathtub. (Patrons in the first row are kindly given plastic covering to protect them.) You might be tempted to try O'Mer's act at home, but you'd be wise to refrain.
On the distaff side, there's the disarming trapeze artist Una Mimnagh and the beautiful Russian contortionist Yulia Pikhtina, who does more with a quartet of hula hoops than I ever thought possible. I was tickled pink -- or should I say red -- by Miss Behave (Amy Saunders), a comic force in a skintight, cherry-colored dress who does unthinkable things with scissors, swords, cigars, and table legs. And then there's the decidedly unique Ursula Martinez, who not only speaks Spanish flawlessly, but has a very special way with a handkerchief.