The Theatre at Ace Hotel, 929 S. Broadway, downtown; Fri., Feb. 2, 8 p.m.; $29.50-$69.50. (213) 623-3233, www.acehotel.com.
Brandishing the microphone and her trademark two lit cigarettes in her balled-up right fist and a bottle of beer in her left hand, Meow Meow is a glorious mess onstage. Crowd-surfing is rare in the refined world of cabaret chanteuses, but the Australian singer-actor-comedian also known as Melissa Madden Gray manages to retain something resembling poise in her elegant ballroom gown and elbow-length gloves even as she’s awkwardly borne aloft like a triumphant football coach by her ardent if bemused fans in the first few rows. The fact that Ms. Meow, backed by Pink Martini pianist Thomas M. Lauderdale, is simultaneously purring mournfully doom-ridden ballads by Radiohead and Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht — while vamping it up as an archly mannered diva who fearfully dodges roses thrown by her fans — only adds to the absurd theatrical spectacle.