The Butterfly Club has a great reputation for a funky bar to chill out in before entertaining cabaret shows and the latest offering Backseat Diamond is no exception. The almost one hour comic singing extravaganza features Megan Kozak portraying American starlet Mary as she shifts from backup singer to the front star spot when her two other members of her Motown group The Diamonds weirdly ‘fail to show up’. Fresh from Clinton the Musical with Black Swan theatre, Kozak’s impressively lights up the stage with in a gorgeous long slinky blue glitter dress and an pitch perfect voice. Brilliantly accompanied on piano by Steph whose intercutting jokes were perfectly timed and delivered, the audience quickly got into the mood to bop along to well known Motown hits. Audience involvement with Aretha Franklin’s Respect generated lots of giggles as Kevin became a suitable backup singer, willingly or not – and he was a good random pick! Her rendition Never Been to Me was great, and showed off her lower vocal range to hilarious effect. Moving quickly and sharply through her brief life story on the road to fame and stardom, she generated empathy for her missed opportunities and lament at being stuck behind the backup microphone and how she deserves the diva limelight with some impressive vocal chords on a variety of tunes. What makes this more than just a singing act though is her natural ability to twist lines or lyrics for comic effect, and her facial expressions were also spot on.
The idea of having security man Chris interrupt to arrest her for her apparent poisoning of her co-stars smartly took this one woman show to another level when it was exactly needed and allowed for some clever dialogue and duo singing pieces. Although the knockout with the tambourine was a little forced and pedestrian, these two have great chemistry. With Chris on guitar and a penchant for 80s Aussie rock, he showed he was no ring in with a great rendition of “What About Me”. But it was the songs that illustrated off their beautiful harmonies that worked amazingly well, especially demonstrating another aspect of Kozak’s notable vocal range. Highlights were getting the crowd clapping along to You’re the Voice (complete with surprise bazooka instead of bagpipes) and the duo split between “You Got Nothing I Want” intersected with “Don’t Leave Me This Way. The humour also kicked it up a notch, and played well into songs like “You’re gonna love me” with Kozak’s funny looks of desperation as she tries to seduce Chris… with a fake gun in tow. The inclusion of Endless Love was also hilarious. Despite a small audience, the crowd interaction certainly indicated this was a show enjoyed by everyone, and the perfect treat for an after work get together or early evening trip down Motown lane with a dash of 80s Oz rock thrown in. This is not only a show where Kozak lives up to star diva status, but also where the trio of performers all perfectly complement one another.