I Can't Believe It's Not Countdown, It's A Musical Comedy

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Date of Show: 
Thursday, 10th February 2011 (All day)
The Palms at Crown
It’s hard to believe the ABC’s revolutionary music show Countdown hit the small screen almost 40 years ago. For 13 years, music fans of all ages snuggled into their bean bags or sprawled across the couch every Sunday night at 6.00pm for their weekly music fix. Who can forget Ian “Molly” Meldrum’s hit predictions, quirky interviews and his unique hosting style that launched promising new acts – both local and international?
Paying tribute to this great Aussie legacy comes I Can’t Believe It’s Not Countdown – It’s a Musical Comedy – a feel-good show with plenty of laughs and a touch of nostalgia. Written and produced by Uncanny X Men front-man Brian Mannix, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Countdown recaptures the vibe of a live studio audience that would have once gathered at the ABC Studios in Elsternwick, Melbourne.
Original Countdown voiceover guru Gavin Wood anchors the stage show by reprising his original job – although the new material is somewhat tongue-in-cheek compared to what Wood might have been used to. Wood’s involvement ensures the audience is quickly transported back to a time when fashion disasters were the norm and outrageous celebrity behaviour was readily forgiven.
Renowned Australian actor Michael Veitch brings the role of Molly Meldrum to life – his portrayal is nothing short of outstanding. One would be forgiven for thinking that Meldrum himself was back on stage. Veitch’s imitation skills are flawless and his comic timing is second to none.
Veitch was equally supported by a small group of dazzling up-and-coming stage performers (in no particular order): Andrew Kroenert, Chris Buchanan, Jon Peck, Maurie Annese, Richard Macionis, Angie Stapleton, Casey Mannix and Janine Atwill. Taking on the art of mimicking various music legends, these fine young performers transitioned smoothly from role to role and emulated each artist’s quirks and mannerisms with flair, providing some great comic moments.
The audience was given a treat from various Australian and international artists. Act One primarily featured 70s artists such as Alicia Bridges (“I Love the Nightlife”), Suzi Quatro (“Devil Gate Drive”), Patrick Hernandez (“Born to be Alive”), Roger Vadouris (“Get Used to It”) and Alice Cooper (“Only Women Bleed”), while Act Two moved into the 80s with hits from The Knack (“My Sharona”), The Waitresses (“I Know What Boys Like”), Blondie (“Heart of Glass”), Kim Wilde (“Kids in America”), Culture Club (“Karma Chameleon”) and Cyndi Lauper (“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”).
The show is also a vehicle to pay homage to the Australian music industry featuring bands including Skyhooks (“Living in the Seventies”), Hush (“Bony Moronie”), Sherbet (“Howzat” – complete with cricket footage of Dennis Lillee and the like), Mi-Sex (“Computer Games”), Cold Chisel (“Khe Sanh”), Divinyls (“Boys in Town”), INXS (“The Loved One”), Models (“Out of Mind, Out of Sight”) and Men at Work (“Down Under”).
It’s hard to pick out show highlights as there were so many to choose from. But the crowd favourite without question was the Moving Pictures’ hit song that had the entire venue singing at the top of their lungs: “What About Me?”
The show was rounded out with a studio set complete with “On Air” lights and special effects projected onto the stage walls, hilarious video interviews, the tiniest Roland keyboard ever played and a superb array of zany costumes, wigs and make-up effects.
Congratulations to all involved in this slick, hugely entertaining project. This show is a must see.
Remaining show dates at The Palms, Crown Casino:
Friday 18th February @ 8pm
Saturday 19th February @ 2pm
Saturday 19th February @ 8pm
Julia has been an on-stage performer for many years and has also undertaken roles in vocal training and Musical Direction. Julia made her debut as a Director in 2006 tackling shows such as Urinetown, City of Angels, Guys and Dolls, I Love You You're Perfect Now Change, Songs for a New World and a number of variety shows. She won a Lyrebird Award for Best Director for The Witches of Eastwick and her variety show A PEP Perspective won a Guild Award for Best Concert. Julia has a professional background in media, journalism, marketing and events management. She is currently President of the Lyrebird Awards Committee.