Public acclaim for this personal tribute
By Christine Moffat
Leonard Cohen is the master of sexy, dark revealing lyrics and music that sweeps you away. Stewart D’Arrietta has been swept away, but it hasn’t overpowered his unique performance of this selection of Cohen’s powerful works.
D’Arrietta nurtured a connection with the audience and took them on a very personal journey through the world via Cohen’s songs. Nothing makes a show duller than a show based merely on impersonation, but with his gravely voice and laconic humour, D’Arrietta’s performance was only reminiscent of Cohen. What the audience was treated to instead was a collection of confident and original interpretations.
Sensitivity to the composer and actual musical skill are all very well and good, but the most important test a show like this must pass is “Was it a good time?” The answer is a most definite “Yes!” The ensemble played like a bunch of old-fashioned romantics, giving the music all of their energy and style. Frontman D’Arrietta adapts his persona song after song, holding nothing back. In the end he is the embodiment of a Cohen song: sexy, funny, sad – human.
The music was interspersed with bite-sized insights into Cohen’s life, titbits about the composition of various songs, and importantly, D’Arrietta’s personal connections to those songs. It made for an entertaining one-and-a-half hours of live music, performed by accomplished musicians.
The exquisite leadlight window of Chapel Off Chapel‘s theatre was the perfect backdrop for a show bringing to life Cohen’s emotional lyrics of god and love, men and women. When I left, a crescent moon was hanging low in a dark starless sky, seemingly imbued with a poetic connection to the moving performance that had just finished.
Dates: Sept 11 – Sept 15
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
Times: Tue-Fri 8pm / Sat 7pm & 9pm / Sun 5pm & 7pm
Tickets: From $49.50
Bookings: 03 82907000 or online at chapeloffchapel.com.au