Hoff's pub tour puts fans' faith to the test
David Hasselhoff has five more shows around Australia over the next week.
If you see a bloke who looks and sounds suspiciously like The Hoff performing at your local pub or restaurant in the next week, don't be surprised.
The former Baywatch star is doing a round of gigs described as "a night of song and storytelling" based on a series of performances he first unveiled at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year.
On watching David Hasselhoff's startling mixture of television clips, live singing and anecdotes about fame, one British critic wrote: "I've seldom seen a theatre audience leave with more bemused faces."
But at least British audiences knew they were going to see the real Hoff. Aussies have been a bit slower to catch on.
When The Corner Hotel in Melbourne put tickets on sale for An Evening with The Hoff, tickets did not exactly fly out the door.
"When they first went on sale they were not selling and I put it down to the simple fact that people couldn't believe David Hasselhoff was coming to [this venue]," said Ben Thompson, music manager at The Corner.
"Once we got the word out and made it clear it was THE Hoff, tickets started to go crazy and, yeah, there seems to be quite a bit of excitement."
With an audience capacity of 800 people, The Corner is one of six small Australian venues chosen for Hasselhoff's performances. He has five more shows over the next week, at small venues in Sydney, Brisbane, Perth and Newcastle.
Despite the relatively small audience numbers, security has been boosted because of The Hoff's popularity among some particularly fervent fans.
"We've got some extra security, only because I know people can be a little bit crazy when they meet him," Thompson said. "But he's going to do a meet-and-greet after the show and he wants that to be open to everyone, so I've got a feeling he's going to be standing there for two hours doing photos."
Apart from The Hoff himself, there will be plenty of reminders of his career: women in red Baywatch cossies (no surprises there) and the car that made him famous.
"There's some crazy people who come out of the woodwork,'' said Thompson. ''We've got the Kit car being parked outside [based on the car from Knight Rider] because an Australian fan has built an exact replica of Kit and they have been in touch with David's management. [They] said he would love to see the car at the venue."
Hasselhoff has also recruited the Melbourne Storm cheerleaders to appear on stage, and there is talk of a Berlin wall replica.
It's clear it is not going to be a normal night out at the pub. "Obviously, we do a mix of genres, but it's this kind of show that stands out," Thompson said.
An Evening with David Hasselhoff is at The Corner Hotel in Melbourne tonight (Thursday), the Hi-Fi in Sydney on Friday, the Hi-Fi in Brisbane on Saturday, the Capitol in Perth on Sunday, Lizotte's in Newcastle on Tuesday and Lizotte's in Dee Why on Wednesday.