Kesha may have said it first but Em Rusciano will say it again, she is a ‘mother-fucking woman’ so don’t call her honey. Opening with Kesha’s ‘Woman,’ to a sold out crowd on her one-night-only show, Rusciano explained she was fed up with being called a diva, so instead she is embracing it.
Living her best life by sipping rose on stage from the bottle and not apologising for having an opinion, Rusciano explains this show could not have come at a better time. The radio-host, comedian and singer has been embroiled in a ‘media shit-storm’ over the last few weeks after she, “may or may not have called Sydney media a bunch of c****”.
Dancing around the stage in a skin-tight red jumpsuit and knee high black boots, Rusciano was supported by her ‘Backing Bitches’ who were stars themselves. Gospo Collective’s Charmaine Jones and Joanna Arul Tropeano plus Olivia Nathan stunned with their backing vocals, with Tropeano acting as the Jay Z to Rusciano’s Beyonce for her rendition of Crazy in Love, which had the audience on their feet.
The former Australian Idol contestant performed songs by other difficult women who weren’t afraid to speak up including Madonna’s Express Yourself and Tina Arena’s Chains. Rusciano explained the importance of the sisterhood and helping each other through John Farnham’s Help!, and dazzled the audience with jazz crowd favourite, Feeling Good. Possibly the most heart warming moment of the show however was when Rusciano forced her parents on stage to slow dance and reminisce to Stevie Wonder’s Do I Do.
Rusciano’s powerhouse vocals and electrifying stage presence were complimented by the incredible musical direction of pianist Chong Lim and John Farnham’s band, including his original guitarist Brett Edward Garsed.
Her self-deprecating and crass humour, plus the fact she sipped rose off the dirty stage floor after accidentally kicking it over makes it hard to believe anyone would think Rusciano is difficult to work with. Stating she wanted women to leave her show ‘EM-powered,’ after kicking off her heels mid-set and performing the rest of the show barefoot proved Rusciano is not above us, she is just like us. So the next time you go to criticise her for having an opinion, telling it how it is or simply being direct, just don’t!
Image: Adelaide Cabaret Festival