By Dino Ustovic
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“Chameleon why do you change colours” croons our quirky yet relatable protagonist, Alexandria in her latest show Chameleon. This cabaret is truly an eccentric and introspective look into loneliness, depression, and finding stability in life. Widely entertaining, Chameleon contains poignant moments that are sure to captivate the audience.
Chameleon follows Alexandria’s heartfelt mental health journey from the dark depths of her lowest moments to the brilliant highs. With her powerful voice that perfectly fits the rock and blues aesthetic, Alexandria shines on stage, even despite the heavy themes she is singing about. Alongside her talented friend Mr. Sunshine on the piano, the duo is constantly in sync, making them a delight to watch.
However, a content warning must be issued. The show explicitly tackles themes such as suicide and suicidal ideation which may be sensitive topics for the audience. Chameleon provides a trigger warning at the start of the show however audience discretion is advised.
Chameleon does discuss these themes with nuance and with care. Alexandria is never chastised for feeling a certain way, rather she is guided to finding solutions that are pragmatic and useful to her and her situation. The show also refuses to glorify such themes, Alexandria is our protagonist, but she is not infallible. A simple but powerful reminder that she is simply human.
Furthermore, Chameleon reminds us that recovery is not a one size fits all scenario. For Alexandria, medication plays a large role in her road to recovery. However, this journey is not linear. Alexandria stumbles as she tries to make the right decisions with the myriad of advice that she is given. Watching her find the right combination is almost cathartic to the audience towards the end of the cabaret. Equally empowering is that Chameleon also does not stigmatize the use of medication. This allows for further depth as often; medication use can be inaccurately depicted in the media.
Despite these darker explorations, Chameleon allows for light heartened moments. Cheeky winks and satirical jokes abound as Alexandria pokes light fun at wellness culture and even her own clumsy slip-ups in life. Watching Alexandria on a date is a real highlight as it combines crude humour with audience participation.
Chameleon is a quirky and old-ball cabaret that promises to deliver a show that is full of charm, love, and talent. While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, this is one soulful gaze into the human psyche that you won’t regret. Four stars.