From her most hilarious on-stage moments, to setting her divorce to music and everything in between, Em Rusciano lifts the lid on her wickedly funny show, Divorce, The Musical!
Australian screenwriter Michale Lucas once said that if Judy Garland and Freddi Mercury had a love child the result would be something like Em Rusciano and those who follow the singer, comedian, radio personality and writer know that no quote could be more accurate.
Never shy about sharing her life and antics with fans, Rusciano has bared her soul more times than Ricky Martin has sexily unbuttoned his shirt, and now her quirky stage presence is headed straight for Brisbane.
The star will bring her hit cabaret show to The Tivoli this Saturday 8 November, thanks to an arduous and only slightly stalkerish campaign by her Brisbane fans, which was designed to lure her to the river city. When you take the emotional intensity of Homeland’s Carrie Matheson, and combine it with the epic diva attitude of Mariah Carey, throw in two children, subtract all money and sprinkle in some divorce papers for good measure, you have Rusciano’s Divorce, The Musical!
So strap in, Brisbane.
“It’s the journey of my year and a half separated from my husband set to song, so if you don’t laugh you’ll cry,” she says. “I managed to find the humor in having your heart torn out of your chest. It’s cathartic, though! My dad Vincie is on stage with me, so I’m bringing Vincie to Brisbane. The show’s also about how my dad kind of picked me up and dusted me off after the divorce, he moved me out of the house Scott and I lived in at the time of our separation and moved me in with him. He offered to play guitar with me for free when my guitarist moved to Canada. The show ends up being about our relationship, so it’s not an hour of an angry woman on stage.
“My husband and I actually reconciled during the show’s run at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. So Brisbane will now get an exclusive update on what’s been going on between us, because I haven’t done the show anew since we got back together. I had to write a new little part explaining how we reconciled. It’s a world exclusive for Brisbane!”
Rusciano first came to Australia’s attention on season two of Australian Idol, went on to radio hosting, has been a regular on Network Ten’s The Project, and recently guest starred on Ten’s new political drama Party Tricks. Despite her high rolling ways, the down-to-earth performer prefers to have her stage costumes crafted by a well known drag queen seamstress and can often be spotted at events wearing concoctions of leather, sequins and sparkles with a unicorn accent thrown in. Just to keep things interesting.
When it comes to her stage shows Rusciano admits that her fans are quirky, fun and left-of center so she doesn’t hold back during her performances, knowing that her audience is “up for anything”.
“Oh God, I’ve had so many strange things happen to me! There is a bit in the show where I get two people up to get married. One night I happened to pick a pair of people who’d come in separately but were ex’s and I picked them! The planets just aligned and I actually performed a wedding ceremony on them. I’ve had women come in who have literally broken up with their husbands a week before and we’ve all had a good cry together. All of our periods, including the men’s, just aligned.
“I had one night where the entire front row was my extended Italian family, but I didn’t realise that because I hadn’t seen them in 20 years. So I was talking about masturbating and listening to Adele songs while crying and I went over to the front row and asked them what music they like to do that to. My Dad was freaking out and then I realised and said ‘Oh my God, are you my family?’ and they just said ‘Yes’. Jesus Christ.”
As a regular writer for website Mamamia and now with her own blog, Rusciano has built an empire of followers by sharing tales of motherhood and entertainment, along with a healthy does of polarising opinion thrown into the mix. From locking herself in her room to escape her kids, to her work as a Beyond Blue ambassador and her recent attempts to covertly post to Facebook from inside a private Dancing with the Stars taping, her copious social media followers are always taken along for the ride.
“I do have a filter, it just doesn’t seem like it,” she says. “I hope people read my posts and think ‘Oh, me too!’ I recently did a post that absolutely went off and was seen by three million people. I wrote about Aldi Anxiety, about how you have to race the check-out guy at Aldi and be quick, otherwise you’ll be sent to the bagging area. It’s a serious situation, man.
“I put it up online and everybody was like ‘Yes!’ There’s no point in writing something that makes you sound like you think you’re better than anyone else. I’m a messy and emotional person, just like the next person.”
For more informtion on Em Rusciano’s Divorce, The Musical!, check out our event guide.