She has dubbed herself “Queen of the Cross” and no one has more right to the throne than Carlotta – entertainment legend and larger-than-life diva. Her original scheduled shows at the Hayes Theatre this May sold out almost immediately, forcing extra shows to be added.
“I haven’t been in the Cross for years – they’re probably coming to see if I’m still alive! That’s what I wanted to call [the show]: ‘I’m Not Dead Yet, Darling!’” laughs Carlotta with that trade-mark self-deprecating wryness that has made her a favourite on the club circuit for many years.
Starting her career in the 1960s when the Cross was coming into its heyday, Carlotta carved out a career in what was sometimes a hostile environment.
“I worked bloody hard to get there, I tell you. I put up with a lot of prejudice in the early years,” she says.
As the effervescent compare for the internationally acclaimed Les Girls for 26 years, Carlotta became the face of Kings Cross, seeing it in all its glitz and and grimy glory, but also watching its decline.
“It’s not the same… It’s never been the same since the early 90s – in the early 90s it went downhill,” she laments.
However, her spectacular show promises to resurrect some golden memories. Its an intimate memoir-as-cabaret in which Carlotta shares career anecdotes, talks politics and culture and has convivial exchanges with the audience.
“I make it like I’m in my lounge-room,” she explains.
There will be a wonderful tribute to her late good friend, Peter Allen as well as other friends who have passed, and there will be a lot of uproarious ad-libbing in which she “really takes the piss” out of herself.
And of course, there will be magnificent new costumes. “They’re just lavish!” Carlotta assures.
Her recent gig as part of Trevor Ashley’s Mardi Gala earned Carlotta two standing ovations.
“That’s alright for an old boiler!” she laughs.
It sure is.
May 10−13. Hayes Theatre, 19 Greenknowe Ave, Potts Point. Tickets & Info: www.hayestheatre.com.au
By Rita Bratovich