Friday, 2 March 2018

The Sound of Falling Stars, Feb 28, 2018 ****1/2

Written & directed by Robyn Archer
Presented by Arts Centre Melbourne & Smartartists Productions 
Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, until March 3, 2018 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 
Stars: ****1/2
Review also published in print in Herald Sun Arts on Fri March 2, 2018. (Poss online later.) KH
Cameron Goodall, photo by Claudio Raschella

Cameron Goodall's performance in The Sound of Falling Stars is both remarkable and alarming as he portrays 31 popular, male singers of the 20th century, all of whom died young.

The honour roll of deceased talent includes Elvis, Hank Williams, Sam Cooke, Jim Morrison, Otis Redding and John Lennon, while the list of hits includes Are You Lonesome Tonight, Try A Little Tenderness, La Bamba, and Light My Fire.

On a large stage and supported by two accomplished, charming musician-singers (George Butrumlis, accordion; Enio Pozzebon, keyboard), the vocally versatile and chameleon-like Goodall opens the show as bolshy Cockney, Sid Vicious, then inhabits the spirit, vocal style and character of this parade of phenomenally talented artists.

Some of these singers died in plane or car crashes, others of drug or alcohol abuse, some of natural causes and others suicided.

All this may sound maudlin, but Robyn Archer's cunningly written script balances witty repartee with poignant revelations and sound bites from the singers’ diverse repertoires.

Goodall bleeds from one character to another with a shift of accent, posture and vocal quality, the addition of a shirt or jacket, a flick of his hair, a smile or a crafty sneer.

Highlights include his sassy Sam Cooke medley, Jim Morrison's smouldering presence and distinctive vocal style, Jeff Buckley's vulnerability and Bon Scott's audacious performance of Highway to Hell.

Goodall teases us with a false ending ­– Sid Vicious singing My Way – then closes with Kurt Cobain's angry presence, distinctive personality and voice singing Nirvana’s anthem, Smells Like Teen Spirit.

Goodall's performance is passionate, effortless and masterly in its characterisation and vocal versatility, and The Sound of Falling Stars is a memorable tribute to these exceptional and tragic singers.

By Kate Herbert 
-Cameron Goodall, photo by Claudio Raschella

No comments:

Post a Comment