You’ve got to hand it to Trevor Ashley. A writer, producer, director and actor. That man knows how to work. I mean ‘old school‘ work. Whether it’s playing the miserly, thieving Thenadier in the Australian revival of Les Miserables, Directing Heathers or slinging and flinging the sequined pant suit ( stunningly designed by Angela White) of Madame Liza Minnelli herself – the man’s got it!
The cabaret loosely borrows it’s inspiration from the Patti Lu Pone show, ‘Coulda Shoulda, Woulda’ where Lu Pone tells stories about all the roles she auditioned for on Broadway and didn’t get.
Ashley’s quirks, mannerisms, speech and dialect are impeccable. But what I loved more than the frolicsome ‘Liza-tions’ of the songs or the very seamless characterisations and physicality including chorey, ( Eugene Louis Faccuito would be proud) was that Liza was being celebrated and adored. There was love for this woman’s bravado, passion and dash of crazy. There was pathos in her pain and a resounding fierce joy in never letting the ‘reality’ of any situation get to her. And let’s face it….. in this version, Liza is very far from reality!
Phil Scott must be congratulated for an incredibly hilarious, clever script. It’s a half-cafe, double- decafe, with a twist of Liza! Max Lambert, James Simpson, Lachlan Davidson and Anton Koch and Craig Renshaw‘s arrangements, musical concepts and orchestrations had me clapping several times. You will never listen to Don’t Cry For Me Argentina,’the same way again. Andy Davies musical direction was outstanding. Cameron Mitchell’s choreographic flair engaged the audience and Gavin Swift’s lighting design is old school hollywood at its best.
If you love Liza, sequins and a slowly sipped martini, get a ticket. If not now, then in November when his show will travel to the Opera House.
As for Mr Ashley -I have a feeling the diversity and range of his skill as an artist and creative is something we are still not truly aware of. I look forward to the next inspiration. Perhaps… ‘Liza on Ice!’
Lee Anderson – Theatre Now
SOLD OUT AT HAYES THEATRE CO – BEFORE OPENING NIGHT!
NOW 2 NIGHTS ONLY – Friday 11 & Saturday 12 NOVEMBER
SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE
TICKETS ON SALE THURSDAY 15 SEPTEMBER
“They say the neon lights are bright…”
TICKETS ON SALE September 15 at 9am
DATES: Friday 11 and Saturday 12 November at 8.15pm
VENUE: The Studio, Sydney Opera House
TICKETS: Tables $95.00 / Reserved seating $85.00
BOOKINGS: (02) 9250 7777 or sydneyoperahouse.com