Frank Sinatra was one of the first artists to create the original concept album, despite claims by many that it bands like The Beatles, The Who or Pink Floyd.
In the 1950s, Sinatra embraced the notion of releasing albums that had a unifying theme. One of these, Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! was released in March 1956 and features the hit songs, ‘Old Devil Moon’, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’ and ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’.
StageArt and Phoenix Productions have announced the professional premiere of Songs for Swingin’ Lovers! for two performances at Prahran’s Chapel off Chapel on October 20th and 30th.
This show was created by Lachlan Graham and Amelia Homes, and explores the ‘concept’ that lives within the album. “We have taken the narrative and brought it to life through song and dance,” Lachlan Graham explained.
The idea was born when Amelia heard Lachlan recording New York New York for his final year at university. Over the last couple of years, they developed the concept together and spent time workshopping it earlier this year.
“I always had a great fondness of Frank Sinatra’s work and Amelia, as a dancer, felt there was a need to show more jazz dancing.”
The show explores the themes of love, lust, lies and regret. Lachlan sings Sinatra’s songs while four professional dancers illustrate the ebbs and flows of relationships reflected in the album. Amelia’s character is head over heels in love and completely unaware of what’s to come. John Reed (Funny Girl, Jesus Christ Superstar) plays the severely torn lover, eager to get what he can’t have. Emma Russell (The Wizard of Oz, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) is the seductress who lures without consequence and Tom New (The King & I, Bare -The Musical) grasps on to the comfort of the old, unwilling to accept what is happening.
Kala Gare, a recent graduate from the Victorian College of the Arts, is the Musical Director. Together the cast and the rich five piece band will draw the audience into the tangled web of life that this album represents.
“People who have seen the show in rehearsal have been surprised by amount of story contained within.”
Amelia studied at The Australian Ballet School and furthered her performing arts studies at Dance World Studios. She is working as the 2018 Resident Choreographer for the Alchemy Dance Company and co-created Phoenix Productions with Lachlan.
Lachlan graduated from the Victorian College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Music Theatre). He played Young Ben in the star studded production of Follies in Concert and was most recently seen in You Will Be Found and On Broadway.
While the show doesn’t take place in any particular setting, the style of the show was were inspired by the clothes worn in the 1940s and 50 by artists like Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, and Vera Ellen.
“It is a period piece. The costumes are great and took a long time to source. One came from Latvia, some from the USA, while others were made specifically for the show.”
Lachlan is excited about the show and talks about the possibility of playing in regional areas, on cruise ships or maybe a performance at Melbourne’s Morning Melodies at The Arts Centre.
Given these songs are classics, Lachlan says this show will appeal to audiences of all ages.
Book now for Songs for Swinging Lovers! at Chapel off Chapel.
When: Saturday October 20th, 1:30pm sharp, Tuesday October 30th, 7pm sharp
Where: Chapel Off Chapel
Tickets: All tickets $35
Bookings: Tickets on Sale Now at www.stageart.com.au or 03 8290 7000
Duration: 50 minutes (1 act)