Song and dance show at Bisous brings back 1920s-style glamour

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 18 May, 2011, 12:00am


As creators of the city's first retro-modern show club, Bisous, sisters Katrina and Janelle Zai are making a bid to become the Florenz Ziegfeld of 21st-century Hong Kong. And if the queue at Saturday night's grand opening party - which stretched for a whole block - was any indication, Lan Kwai Fong seems to be more than ready for some seduction and tease.

Family legend has it that the sisters, particularly Katrina, have always had a thing for 1920s to 1940s retro styles. 'I love the old glamour of speakeasies - the Cotton Club, the show clubs in Shanghai and the unabashed sensuality of Europe, particularly from the days when the Moulin Rouge was sensational,' she said.

But younger sister Janelle had an ulterior motive for launching the business - her family wanted to lure Katrina back from the US.

'Yes, we opened a club here so I could trick my sister into moving back instead of opening a restaurant in LA,' Janelle said with a laugh. 'The concept just kept growing until it became an accumulation of everything my sister and I loved and have never seen in Hong Kong.'

On the opening night, the Bisous Follie Girls - as the resident dance troupe is known - regaled the happily buzzed crowd with a mix of burlesque, cabaret, show tunes and jazz dancing. The audience was so enthralled that no one noticed any of the backstage glitches that occurred during stage performances.

'You know what they say in theatre production, that everything that could go wrong does, five minutes before the show? Well that was us,' Janelle said. 'But our crew and staff really put their whole heart into making it work - especially Kin Sook, who manned the curtains. So if you thought our grand opening night was amazing, it was because of our wonderful crew.'