Wednesday, 21 September 2005

I Get the Music in You, Queenie van de Zandt & Tony Taylor , Sept 21, 2005

I Get the Music in You 
By Queenie van de Zandt  and Tony Taylor

Melbourne Fringe Festival
 Store Room , Sept 21 to Oct 7, 2005

Reviewer: Kate Herbert

Queenie van de Zandt is not only a great cabaret singer, she is hilarious too. Her solo cabaret/comedy show, I get the Music in You, is a delightful parody of a music therapist whose heart is not in the right place.

Queenie plays Jan van der Stool, a self-absorbed, conceited and blatantly rude singer who runs workshops to heal the inner self through singing. " Open the throat and open the door", she repeats.

With the relentless Jan on stage is Helen, Queenie's much abused accompanist, played completely deadpan and mute by David Young who looks outrageously funny in his flimsy dress.

Jan runs the workshop like a concentration camp warden or an authoritarian tuck shop mum. She demands everyone pay for their biscuits and coffee "The plunger coffee", she snipes, "is for Helen and me. The International Roast is for the rest of you."

When half a packet of bikkies goes missing, she is like a bird of prey seeking her target.

Jan is Dutch and her language is riddled with comical second language errors But nothing fazes Jan. She is in control and believes she can help her hapless students despite her blunt criticism.

Queenie, as Jan, introduces her victims onto the stage to sing and then transforms into these students herself. First she plays Carole who sings Shattered Illusions, a comic song about her bad choices of men.

Then she sings a truly beautiful love ballad as the painfully shy Kirsty. Finally she is Arthur, a lumpen thing who idolises Michael Jackson and sings Ben in a breaking falsetto.

Jan teaches us a series of very funny and literal interpretive dance moves to accompany The Wind Beneath my Wings. We all participate gleefully.

We discover our inner bell, learn to do the vocal exercise called the Vomit, hopefully without puking and learn that singing "the big note" at the end of a song is just showing off.

Queenie plays herself and other students at the end and sings a grand finale of songs including a marvellous rendition of Barbra Streisand's very difficult song, A Piece of Sky.

His show is a real laugh-out-loud hoot with some really powerful singing by Queenie.

By Kate Herbert

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