Who is Dani Cabs? (Daniel Cabrera)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Turbine Studio
December 3 – 6
Orange may be the new black but it is also the decor dejour for “Who Is Dani Cabs”, a strange show billed as being a night of heartfelt and hysterical storytelling. “Anything can happen,” Dani Cabrera warns audience members early on. However, initially at least, not a lot actually occurs, as the first twenty minutes feature drawn out repetition of the same jokes with difficult friends from within the audience being dragged up on stage by the performer. For those not part of the circle, it feels a bit like looking upon a party to which invitation has not been extended.
As funny as they may be, the unscripted snippets of engagement lack any sense of narrative. And although there are later, isolated moments of poignancy in his stage journey of self-discovery as discussion turns to his family, these are swiftly swept along, followed by audience dance sessions and simultaneously disturbing and hilarious juicy feasts of oranges.
So, who is Dani Cabs? An Australian born descendant of Uruguayan migrants, we know, but it seems the audience is destined to discern little beyond this. Although Cabrera touches on personal revelations such as his Latin roots and Sydney Western suburban childhood, these are random inclusions in a sea of absurdism, touched upon but quickly moved on from in a sometimes self-indulgent series of random gags, that can be disengaging in their shift from any skerrick of story.
Dani Cabs is an interesting fellow for sure. He can’t sing, he may have been a bear in a former life and he does Tai Chi (aka Dani Chi). But, as he stands centre stage in underpants, poncho and nail polish – all orange, there is little more to ascertain than this, such is the show’s organic execution and enigmatic purpose.
You won’t get a story or even find out the significance of all the oranges, but you will have some laughs and get to share in a combined audience conga dance session. Cabrera is a charismatic performer with infectious energy, however, to be more successful, the show’s structure needs to be tightened. Rather than dismissing the work’s previous focus on his personal insecurities and challenges with “perhaps we can do something else tonight,” he should stick to sincere, heartfelt storytelling and leave madcap comedy to the masters of Sam Simmons ilk.
Photo c/o – https://www.facebook.com/whoisdanicabs