3 stars The mock-up of the Berlin Wall painted with a German flag over-laden with peace symbols onstage is the perfect embodiment of East-West unification, especially when two dancing girls and a man in a sparkly 1980s jacket kick their way through the bricks that are holding it all together. By this time the beach-balls bouncing around the auditorium and the mass onstage Conga has already ensnared a room packed with willing worshippers. But this isn't some iconoclastic melding of east European avant-gardism and pop culture appropriating post-modernism. This is TV's best known former lifeguard's bombastic solo show, and we are all culpable. Opening with a big-screen montage of his greatest hits, Hasselhoff enters from the back of the auditorium singing a rat pack style rendition of Nina Simone's Feeling Good, before strutting his way to the stage for a tea-time diversion of taking stock, Hoff-style. What this means is a loose-knit narrative from Knight Rider to Baywatch to saving the western world. Somehow fed into this are lounge-bar versions of Copacabana, You Can Keep Your Hat On, complete with shower scene with a couple of blondes in shadow, some out-takes from his shows and the real reason behind Baywatch's much imitated slow-motion sequences revealed. There's nothing subtle in the Hoff's self-deprecatory show-man schtick, which starts at fever pitch and just keeps on building. Just when you think things can't get any more absurd, he comes on sporting a kilt to finish the show with a jaw-dropping version of The Proclaimers 500 Miles. That was the Hoff. He came, he sang, he conquered. Showbiz will never be the same again. Until Aug 27th.
The Herald, August 24th 2012 ends