Tag: Robyn Womersley

REVIEW: Andrew Stano has NAILED IT!

A familiar cabaret face with an exciting new show

By Bradley Storer

Nailed It!

The atmosphere for the opening night of Nailed It!, a showcase of new musical work, was casual but friendly as performer Andrew Strano (previously seen as one half of cabaret duo The Bad Boys of Music Theatre) walked out onstage and sincerely thanked the audience for coming, and apologized for his co-writer Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer’s absence due to a conducting commitment for a certain blockbuster musical playing at the Regent.

The pair have constructed an array of fantastic original songs, mainly (at least in this showing) involved with relationships, love and growing up. They explore it both in a comedic sense, as in one song which brutally deconstructs the mating habits of bees and flowers, and in a sincere heart-felt manner – but every song manages to find a surprising (and usually hilarious) perspective. Take, for example, a pretty Jason Robert Brown-style ballad expounding the benefits of incest, or a wacky upbeat number comparing a love of babies to crack addiction. The highpoint of the show is a brilliantly written ballad about accidentally destroying a car with a twist that makes it genuinely heartbreaking.

Strano is a charming presence onstage, with a rich, warm vocal tone and a refreshingly quiet charisma that makes him easy to relate to and wins the audience over whenever he speaks. The banter and links between songs is deceptively playful and improvisational, which is a credit to director Casey Gould for making it seem simultaneously perfect and made up on the spot. The music stand in front of Strano physically blocked him from fully connecting with the audience during the opening number, but was used later for some effective choreography. Strano was accompanied on opening night by Robyn Womersley, whose playing throughout was assured and expressive.

Nailed It! is a delightful showcase for the talents of a wonderful new musical duo, and the wonderful work on display promises great things for their future which I look forward to seeing!

Venue: The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place (access from Little Collins St)
Date: Wednesday 9th – Sunday 13th July
Time: Wednesday/Sunday 8pm, Thursday/Friday/Saturday 9pm
Price: All tickets $20, Preview $15
Booking: www.thebutterflyclub.com or at the door

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REVIEW: Les Femmes at THE BUTTERFLY CLUB

Formidable!

By Christine Moffat

Les Femmes features five musically talented women (Les Femmes of the title) plus all original songs by Chris Wallace.  The show begins slow and small, with just Wallace onstage with pianist (and musical director) Robyn Womersley and Kat Ades on double bass.

Wallace sings a simple little ditty about his admiration for women, and gives a brief introduction to the show.  What follows is an hour of original songs belted out by the amazing vocal talents of Sarah-Louise Younger, Georgina Ward and Hollie James.  Boy, can these three ladies sing!

Les Femmes

The show follows a an old-fashioned revue format, with song following song in quick succession.  Each singer takes on a persona that matches the mood of the song. Younger is almost a show-stopping talent, performing songs ranging from comedy to sultry to soul with gusto.  Her voice is almost too big for the venue: when she belts, she belts! 

Ward is particularly cute in a country number about an unlucky-in-love faded beauty.  James is ready for the stage at the Princess Theatre, in one number singing and tap dancing with style, in another bringing herself and some of the audience to tears.  Wallace casts himself in the role of comic relief, performing a couple of cute songs and keeping the ball rolling.

There is not much to fault with this show: it is an hour’s real entertainment.  A couple of the lyrics were lost in the faster numbers (for example, ‘The Chocolate Song’) – perhaps this is due to The Butterfly Club not requiring microphones.  Bringing the action to the front of the stage for group songs could solve this.  If any change were to be made, this reviewer suggests finishing with  ‘The Chocolate Song’ (maybe even as a sing-along) as it has great energy and was simply good fun – the epitome of the show overall.

Oct 16 – 20

8pm (9pm Thu-Sat)

The Butterfly Club

Carson Place (just off Little Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD)

www.thebutterflyclub.com