Genesis to Broadway

Genesis to Broadway
Director/Writer: Frank Howson. Musical Director/Arranger: Warren Wills. Choreographer: Stephen Agisilaou. Chapel off Chapel (Vic). June 12 – 20.

The world of cabaret is very competitive and for a show to have a return season speaks volumes. And this show was good!

A two hander for Fem Belling and Tod Strike, with a jazz trio led by Warren Wills, everything about the production had class. Fem and Tod were both superb. Their voices were capable of a huge range of styles, they danced well and their timing was exemplary. I was amazed that Tod was new to the production.

What particularly impressed me was the harmony. They rarely sang unison, these were all new arrangements and there wasn’t a note out of tune. “Somewhere” from West Side Story was a highlight as was their singing of “Bring Him Home” and “I Dreamed a Dream” in juxtaposition.

Warren was a revelation on the piano, particularly in an extended medley. Lachlann Davidson also had an impressive solo innings on the clarinet.

As it was opening night there were technical hitches which the performers dealt with professionally. There were problems with the lights in the first half and in the second half when Tod’s battery pack fell out – again – Fem said, “Let me help you put it in”. She then turned to the audience and said “You can tell I’ve said that before”. Very funny.

This is a show not to be missed. It is so good in so many ways. The narration shared between Fem, Tod and Warren flowed; the minor costume changes were slick and appropriate and the performance left the audience wanting more.

Graham Ford

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