Thursday, 20 January 2011

I Am Playing Me ****

I Am Playing Me
Midsumma Festival
The Butterfly Club, Bank St. South Melbourne, Jan- Feb
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Stars: ****

I Am Playing Me, the first Midsumma cabaret, is a charming hour devised by the award-winning, Australian cast of the quirky, New York musical, [title of show] – yes, the parentheses are part of the title – a musical about two guys writing a musical about themselves creating a musical.

After singing the lives of four nobodies for a year, the cast now tell their own stories in musical theatre, their loves, work and dreams.

The four singers (Laura Fitzpatrick, Lara Thew, David Spencer, Darren Gatt) blend perfectly in harmonies, supported by skilful pianist, Sophie Thomas. All are deliciously engaging, particularly at such close quarters; at the Butterfly Club, one could reach out and tickle them.

They opens with I Am Playing Me, from [title of show], a kooky lament about the horrors of playing oneself on stage. There follows a succession of personal stories, music theatre memories, playful jibes and patter between their favourite songs.

Fitzpatrick and Spencer sing All The Wasted Time, a poignant love duet from the musical, Parade. Gatt sings a cheeky kids’ tune, Poor Kitty, and Thew belts out the comical I’m Breaking Down, from Falsettos. Fitzpatrick’s bright tones suit Sondheim’s Move On, from Sunday In The Park With George.

The Butterfly is a tiny jewel in our cabaret crown, featuring cabaret artists who perform in a miniature space to small but enthusiastic audiences. There’s a new show every week; the programme keeps changing with most running only three nights.

In January, the club features Midsumma Festival shows but the parade of virtuoso artistes continues all year and includes the Melbourne Cabaret Festival in July.

The Butterfly Club programme can be found at:

·       Thu 20/01/11 -Sun 23/01/11 Midsumma presents COURT! the Cabaret
·       Thu 20/01/11 -Sun 23/01/11 Midsumma presents Trevor Jones in STICKY SITUATIONS
·       Fri 21/01/11 -Sat 29/01/11  Midsumma presents BEST OF THE FEST Tue 25/01/11
·       25 Jan EVAPOR-AID - Qld Flood Fundraiser  
·       Sat 29/01/11 -Sat 05/02/11  Midsumma presents Candy Royalle: Love Spectacular -
·       Tue 01/02/11  Jack Colwell & The OWLS present: PICTURE WINDOW -
·       Wed 02/02/11 -Sat 05/02/11  Midsumma presents The Jane Austen Argument : THE SPACES BETWEEN
·       Tue 08/02/11 - Wed 09/02/11  FILTHY SECRETS
·       Thu 10/02/11 - Sun 13/02/11 SCRATCH theatre presents: LISTS OF INVISIBLE THINGS  by Caity Fowler
·       Thu 10/02/11 -Sun 13/02/11  EASTEND CABARET  -tales of love, sex and communism.
·       Mon 14/02/11 Madame Natalia presents: WELCOME TO THE DOLLHOUSE Valentine’s Day cabaret
·       Thu 17/02/11 -Sun 20/02/11 Sophie Walsh-Harrington in: The Damsel in Shining Armour
·       Thu 17/02/11 -Sun 20/02/11  Ruth Rogers-Wright presents FABULOUS DIVA: THE MUSIC OF NINA SIMONE

By Kate Herbert

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