Saturday, October 31, 2015

BUZZING BROADWAY




Directed by Cate Clelland
Musical Direction by Nicholas Griffin
Free Rain Theatre
The Courtyard Studio, Canberra Theatre Centre to 1 November

Review by Len Power 30 October 2015

A new initiative by Free Rain, ‘Buzzing Broadway’ is a cabaret-style evening of Broadway theatre music, devised by the company.  With a drinks bar set up in the theatre and cafĂ©–style tables as well as normal seating, Free Rain has created an intimate cabaret room atmosphere in the Courtyard Theatre.

Seven local performers present the program of mostly 1980s and later songs from Broadway shows.  It’s an interesting set of songs, not all of them obvious standards.  Steve Amosa shines with his presentation of ‘Bring Him Home’ from ‘Les Miserables’ as well as the rousing ‘Run Freedom Run’ from ‘Urinetown’.  Cher Albrecht sings a heart-felt ‘The Movie In My Mind’ from ‘Miss Saigon’ and Kirrah Amosa gives a sensitive version of ‘Someone Like You’ from Jekyll & Hyde’.  Alexander Clubb shows the drive and ambition an actor needs with a strong singing and acting performance of ‘Broadway Here I Come’ from the TV series, ‘Smash’.  Louiza Blomfield is very funny with ‘Alto’s Lament’ about a bitter performer who really wants to sing the melody line in a musical and Kaitlin Nihill does a tenderly wistful ‘Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again’ from ‘The Phantom Of The Opera’.

Lisa Irvine danced an excellent ‘Mr. Bojangles’ in the distinctive Bob Fosse style to a nice accompaniment on guitar by Steve Amosa.

There was good ensemble singing as well and particularly fine duets by Steve Amosa and Alexander Clubb with ‘Lily’s Eyes’ from ‘The Secret Garden’ and ‘Let Me Be Your Star’ from ‘Smash’.  Kirrah Amosa and Louiza Blomfield were especially effective in the duet ‘For Good’ from ‘Wicked’.

Musical director, Nicholas Griffin has done a fine job with the arrangements for this show as well as accompanying the whole show on keyboard.  His arrangement for the Andrew Lloyd Webber trio of songs was particularly clever.

Cate Clelland has put together a very pleasing show.  It moved at a nice pace with eye-catching changes of costumes along the way to add interest and the spoken introductions to the songs by the cast gave the right amount of information.

This Broadway cabaret will be followed next weekend by a cabaret of songs from the movies called ‘A Taste Of Tinseltown’ with a different set of singers.

Len Power's reviews can also be heard on Artsound FM 92.7's 'Artcetera' program on Saturdays from 9.00am.

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