Melbourne, Australia

REVIEW: Tracy Harvey Smoking’ At The Paris Cat

In Events, Musical Theatre, Performances, Review, Theatre on November 6, 2011 at 9:07 am

A new musical in the works is turning up the heat…

By Kim Edwards

Tracy Harvey is a favourite and familiar lady of Australian comedy, but last night it was all about the music.

The intimate confines of the Paris Cat jazz club were bustling with local media and theatre folk as Harvey took to the stage to share some of her previous hilarious compositions and debut some of her latest music theatre songs.

The evening featured repertoire from her first show Call Girl the Musical that premiered in Melbourne in recent years, but also debuted new work from the upcoming and outrageously titled hospital musical Prick.

Harvey with her signature smile and ravishing dress was in exceptional company with Bryce Ives, Laura Burzacott, and the talented Jack Howard leading a superb jazz trio.

It’s a rare pleasure to see director Ives performing on stage himself, and his smooth showman charisma and Burzacott’s ever- stunning voice and understated wit formed a wonderful foil to Harvey’s irrepressible and frantic comic vivacity. Meanwhile, Jack Howard managed a little demure scene-stealing both on the trumpet and with his unexpected solo song ‘Like A Gondolier’.

Ives’ skill at creating atmosphere was in play as usual: the casual, relaxed vibe and unrehearsed patter were completely charming, and this rare sneak peak at a show in development was wonderfully beguiling.

The strength of the songs presented was in their casual Australian vernacular and broad vulgar humour, with plenty of topical and local jokes. Musically and lyrically, there is nothing particularly daring or sophisticated in any of the numbers, and every song seemed to include some extensive word or phrase repetition. However, these are of course works in progress, and the good-natured comedy and appealing energy always made each song highly enjoyable to hear and see performed.

Australia music theatre longs for original local works, and Harvey with her smokin’ hot companions and her flair for distinctly home-bred humour and fun song-writing deserves nothing but admiration and support.

It was exciting to be part of the inception of a new project, and it will be even more exciting to see it fire up into a fully fledged musical in the near future. So keep a look out for more about Harvey’s new show shortly - it’s not like you’re going to forget that title in a hurry.

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