Thursday, August 25, 2011

Melinda Schneider in Doris Day — So Much More Than The Girl Next Door

The trick of these narrative concerts -- Bold Jack’s “house style” if you like -- is to exploit every possible connection between the star subject and the stellar performer. So we learn that Doris Day and Melinda Schneider are unhappily-married, dog-loving children of German Catholics. Doris anglicised her name from Kappelhoff and Melinda did the reverse, opting for her yodelling mother’s maiden name over the one on her birth certificate: Bean.

It’s a narrative device that can work well, but it relies heavily on our interest in the performer. In Eva, audiences were fairly evenly divided between Eva Cassidy devotees and Clare Bowditch ’shippers. The tactic was less effective in The John Denver Story, where Rick Price was drawing a longer bow, comparing Denver’s childhood in Kansas to his own in Beaudesert. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.

Melinda Schneider singing with a smile
(Photographs © Gavin D Andrew, click on the image to enlarge)

In Doris, Schneider gets away with it mostly -- even slipping in a couple of her own songs -- because of her life-long passion for Doris Day. (Schneider released an album of Doris Day songs ‘Melinda Does Doris’ last winter.)

There’ll be more in tomorrow’s Australian. In the meantime, here’s the set list...

Overture: Que Sera, Secret Love &c.

Act 1

1. Shakin’ the Blues Away (from Love Me Or Leave Me)

2. The Windy City (from Calamity Jane)

3. (Why Did I Ever Leave) Ohio (from the 1953 Broadway Musical Wonderful Town, recorded by DD for her album Show Time)

4. (Why Did I Tell You I Was Going To) Shanghai

5. Sentimental Journey (DD had her first #1 in 1945 with this song by Les Brown)

6. Embraceable You (originally from Girl Crazy)

7. It’s Magic (from the 1948 film Romance on the High Seas)

8. On Moonlight Bay (from the 1951 film On Moonlight Bay)

9. There Once Was A Man (from the 1957 film The Pajama Game, DD replaced Janis Paige who created the role on Broadway in 1954.)

10. Hey There (The Pajama Game)

11. Mean To Me (Love Me Or Leave Me)

Sam Ludeman and Rohan Browne lending a hand in Act 2

Act 2

1. The Deadwood Stage (Whip-Crack-Away!) (Calamity Jane)

2. Black Hills of Dakota (Calamity Jane)

3. Teacher’s Pet (from the 1958 film Teacher’s Pet)

4. Love Somebody (recorded by DD & Buddy Clark in November 1947)

5. Autumn Leaves (from the 1956 album Day By Day) (English lyrics by Johnny Mercer) (Jacques Prévert/Johnny Mercer/Joseph Kosma) [Note to Melinda: it’s “The falling leaves drift by my window”!]

6. The Byrds’ Turn Turn Turn (produced by DD’s son Terry)

7. Your Eyes Could Never Lie (Melinda Schneider’s song for her dogs Rosie & Daisy!)

8. Everybody Loves A Lover (charted in 1958)

9. Put ’Em In A Box, Tie It With A Ribbon (And Throw ’Em In The Deep Blue Sea) (Romance on the High Seas)

10. Wish You Were Here (from Melinda Schneider’s Hits & Rarities.)

11. Secret Love (Calamity Jane)

12. Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) (from the Alfred Hitchcock film The Man Who Knew Too Much)

13. I’ll See You In My Dreams (from the 1951 film I’ll See You In My Dreams)

Beggin’ for a DD Smash headline, I reckon...

Doris Day — So Much More Than The Girl Next Door. Created by Melinda Schneider. Written by Melinda Schneider and David Mitchell. Directed by Tom Healey. Choreographed by Andrew Hallsworth. With Sam Ludeman and Rohan Browne.

Presented by Bold Jack and Mike Walsh. At Her Majesty’s Theatre, Melbourne, until September 4. Also Regal Theatre, Subiaco WA, October 12-23; the Twelfth Night Theatre, Bowen Hills QLD, November 15-27; with a Sydney season, dates to be confirmed, in between.

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Friday, August 12, 2011

Set list: Eva — tales from the life of Eva Cassidy

UPDATE: My review for The Australian is on-line, here.

UPDATE: Production photographs added.

Apparently 1000 tickets sold to this show before it had any press whatsoever. Clare Bowditch fans would follow her anywhere. And, hell, why not? She’s a brilliant choice for a show like this... a born story-teller and a great great voice. And she has a ball. It’s her karaoke show!

Clare Bowditch channels Eva Cassidy

The show opened last night at the Athenaeum. My review’s on the way. (You’ll have to wait until it’s in print. Probably Monday.) In the meantime, here's a run down of the Cassidy songs performed by Bowditch, Ashley Naylor and the ‘Blues Alley Band’.

Clare Bowditch and Monique diMattina, Hallelujah I Love Him So.

Act 1

1. Time After Time
2. People Get Ready
3. Summertime
4. Fever
5. True Colours
6. Hallelujah I Love Him So
7. Wade In The Water
8. Fields of Gold

Eva Cassidy (the cover of the 1997 album Eva By Heart)

Act 2

1. Songbird
2. Cheek to Cheek
3. I Wanna Thank U (from E-40’s 1996 studio album Tha Hall of Game)
4. Natural Woman
5. Waly Waly (When cockle shells turn to silvery bells) [that’s ‘silvery’ Clare, not ‘wintry’!]
6. Bridge Over Troubled Waters
7. Over The Rainbow
8. What a Wonderful World
9. Take Me to the River

Clare Bowditch in Eva — tales from the life of Eva Cassidy
(Click on the image to enlarge)

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Rabble: Special

UPDATE: Now with (some) words!

Mary Helen Sassman as Special (Photograph: Marg Horwell)

Liz Jones as Goldie (Photograph: Marg Horwell)

What... you didn't expect me to review a show like this using words did you?!? Fat chance!!

Special. A production by The Rabble. Directed by Emma Valente. Concept by Emma Valente and Mary Helen Sassman. Devised and performed by Liz Jones and Mary Helen Sassman. Designed by Kate Davis. Lighting, sound and composition by Emma Valente.

Presented by La Mama. At the Carlton Courthouse, 240 Drummond Street, until August 21. (Wednesday to Sunday.)

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