Life is a Cabaret, according to the song. Yet I must admit that the very idea of this form of entertainment had never appealed to me.
Too camp, too cheesy, and quite frankly, too boring. But you need to try these things at least once, and cabaret seems very on-trend right now (part of the revived appeal of all things retro). So I ventured to Floridita in Soho to take in their Wednesday night show.
Floridita has grown into itself as a venue. When it first opened it was a little too shiny for its own good. It felt more like a tourist trap then a destination venue. And while it's still not quite the latter, when you follow the stairs down to the club, you can almost believe you are in a 1950s Cuban joint.
Their cabaret night features the Globe Girls, a five-strong drag combo that showcases wonderful physiques and a great skill for miming. If that sounds mean, it's not meant to, as the Girls picked a wonderful combination of high energy and entertaining songs, backed up with some great choreography. Or to put it more simply, they were fun. The line-up also includes Rachael Wooding (currently starring in Jersey Boys), Priscilla Diva, Kate Gillespie and burlesque performer, Sophie St Villier. I’m not sure whether Rachael, Priscilla or Kate were on the agenda when I was there, but Sophie certainly was, and made quite an impact, especially on the table of youngsters sat next to us, celebrating someone’s 18th birthday.
We tried the Cuban dinner, which was good without being amazing. The wine list was extensive and reasonably rather then exorbitantly priced. The cocktails were good rather then great.
However what all of this fails to highlight is that the cabaret experience is great fun. A riot, in fact. So while Floridita might struggle to distinguish itself from a very competitive West End bar scene, the Wednesday night cabaret and burlesque is definitely worth a look. Perhaps even two. After all, "What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a Cabaret, old chum, come to the Cabaret."