Iconic cabaret performer Marissa Burgess brings show to NZ

The Moulin Rouge's longest serving performer is celebrating 30 years in showbiz by bringing her latest show, Cabaret de Paris, to New Zealand.

With jewels fit for a Queen, custom-made Swarovski shoes and of course, a few feathers, Marissa Burgess transforms into a cabaret legend.

Her goal to become the longest serving performer was a dream she set her sights on as a young Australian ballet dancer.

"I always preferred to dress up like this, so it was pretty clear that I needed to go to Paris," she told Newshub.

Burgess joined the Moulin Rouge aged just 16 and spent 17 years performing at the famous Cabaret House.

Over three decades her career has taken her around the world, and she's still as passionate about the artform as the day she began.

"There's never anything that can stop that little rush that's right before going on," she said.

In recent years, the Moulin Rouge has been glamourised by film, but while on stage it's all about the glitz and glam, Burgess says behind the scenes it's not always the case.

"You're in the hard work side of it but everything that's seen by the audience is nothing but opulent."

She's become an icon in the cabaret world but says her biggest challenge is keeping things 'fresh'.

"The way I do that is I just treat every day like it's the first day and every audience like it's the first audience, because as a matter of fact that's what it is."

Later this month she'll be touring New Zealand, starring in Cabaret de Paris.

She says the best thing about her job is having the creative freedom to do exactly what she's always dreamed of.

"You can have the most fanciful idea in your head and then someone lets you do it, and then you get given everything you need to do it, so it doesn't really get any better than that."

And with 30 years in the business, there's bound to be some backstage secrets, right?

"There are many and they'll probably remain secrets," Burgess laughed.

So while all is revealed on stage, the secrets will stay in the dressing room.


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