Friday, 6 May 2016

Musical Theatre Confessions, Polit Bar

A collection of some of Canberra Music Theatre's finest performers, sharing a story and two songs? What's not to love? Particularly when the performers are as fine as this lot, and the stories and songs as intriguing.

Of the various performers, the girls (as is frequently the case in Canberra Musical Theatre) present the best, with not a dud performance between them. Louiza Blomfield emotes a fine Patsy Cline's "Crazy", shares a love gone wrong tale and gets a chance to lift the roof off the place with "Cabaret", Amy Dunham brings her irresistibly shiveringly fun self to a pair of songs which are new to me (one of which turns out to be Joe Iconis' "Blue Hair", one of which ... isn't, damn her and her obscure song choices that I'm sure everybody else knows and will tell me in the comments what it is) and her own special variations on love-chasing, Pip Murphy introduces me to a song from "Waitress" ("She Used to be Mine") and beautifully travels the emotional journey of "Burn" from "Hamilton", while telling a story of acquiring a stepmother, and Jordan Best has pure soul for "Miss Otis Regrets", is irresistibly touching with "No-one is Alone" and tells a hysterically funny story combining racist grandmas and light aircraft. 

Of the men, best of the lot are the top and tail of the evening. Jarrad West knows how to frame a song and a story like nobody's business, and kicks the evening off on a deeply romantic note with "What More can I say" from "Falsettos" and a tale of how the simple gesture of buying a book can change a life. He also hosts smoothly and brings down the house with a song about his couch and his friends. Fraser Findlay's immaculate tenor closes the evening with "Lonely House" from "Street Scene" and "You Walk with Me" from "The Full Monty". The men between are a little shakier - there are a couple of wobbly notes (and in one case a "I have no idea what's in these 32 bars"), but it's largely in comparison that they suffer.

Anyway. It's a fun, wild, engrossing evening with some of Canberra Music Theatre's finest performers. Wild enjoyment to be savoured. Hopefully a variation of this'll be back in a few months with another selection of Canberra Music Theatre Geniuses (there are bunches I'd love to see in this format), so keep an eye out and catch it!

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