Seeing Hans strut his stuff flanked by the Lucky Bitches is something every Adelaidean should behold in their lifetime. Kicking off 2016 with his latest offering, Viva Hans Vegas!, Matt Gilbertson (aka Hans) delivers a wonderfully extravagant performance, promising to wow even the most conservative members of the audience. To me, Hans is like a light-bulb that is always on, constantly sparking clever commentary on everything from Adelaide to Vegas, and local politics to celebrity gossip.
I quote Hans when I say this show is 'high tent, low brow', and it is indeed lucky that that the roof of the Spiegeltent stretches to the heavens because I haven't seen a man kick so high since John Cleese in The Out-of-Towners.
Viva Hans Vegas is a delicious, flamboyantly sparkly cocktail of comedy, cabaret, live music and dancing, with a dash of other surprise ingredients. Backed by the fantastic band he calls 'The Ungrateful Bastards', he pays homage to the likes of J-lo and Beyonce without neglecting his musical roots and trademark instrument – the piano accordion.
Hans sings and dances his way through the hour show like it's no big thing, never losing pace among the countless outfit changes, feathered fedoras, or the pair of distractingly beautiful young men who await his every beck and call. Furthermore, he exceeds his comedic duty of audience engagement to the point at which I'd declare it some of the best ad libbing I've seen in a Fringe performance. Numerous members of the audience can walk away feeling touched by an angel, having had more than one personal encounter with the Hans himself.
For those tight of coin I recommend seeing this fantastic show, as Viva Hans Vegas! is truly a "Las Vegas spectacular on a Hindley Street budget". And while he lost the audience towards the end of the performance, with the lengthy and somewhat scattered piano bit, he reeled us right back in and finished with a big finale and lots of laughs.
Viva Hans Vegas! is the cheapest holiday you will ever take to Sequin City, and I can't urge you enough to go. Take your nan if you can, and you'll have something to talk about at Sunday lunch for years to come.