Directed by Tahli Corin. Written by Joshua Tyler and Tahli Corin. Musical Direction by John Thorn. Adelaide Festival Centre in association with Collide. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Dunstan Playhouse. Adelaide Festival Centre. June 17-19 2015.
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
Forever young. They are the 27 Club, dazzling stars of song and music who famously died at the age of 27. Household names, they remain icons of their time, the voices of new generations and their struggles for political and sexual liberation, singing the songs of freedom for their generation and the world. Robert Johnson, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Brian Jones, Kurt Cobain and Amy Winehouse, all cut down by poisoning alcohol, drugs and alcoholic poisoning. Were they the victims of the devil at the crossroad, or is it mere coincidence that they should depart at the same age, and in some cases on the same auspicious date of June 3rd.
Coincidence or not, Collide, comprising the charismatic host, Henry Wagons, the lady in the sparkling black body clinging dress with the powerhouse voice, Carla Lippis, the bewitching rock goddess, Hayley Mary and the virtuoso guitarist Daniel Champagne, backed by musical director Johnathon Thorn and his band turn on an energy charged, mind blowing rhythm-pounding celebration of talents too soon departed. Wagons spins the mystery with audience interaction and banter with poor unsuspecting Josh in the front row. He taunts belief with a host of facts and strange coincidences to test the imagination and tease conjecture.
But it is the music, the legacy and the song that reminds us of stars that lost their sparkle far too soon. But for a time their firmament shone with their talent, , made even more incandescent by the talents of the performers. From Blues to Country and Western, they changed lives and helped those who listened to find other ways to face their struggles and their pain.