A long, long time ago, on a street called Ramsey, a mild-mannered neighbour called Clive Gibbons ran a gorilla gram business – today actor Geoff Paine, in the guise of a perhaps not so mild mannered dance instructor named Chad Bradley, runs a show-all, tell-all, dance-all masterclass.
Chad Bradley is the ultimate triple threat; singer-dancer-Broadway hack. He’s been in the musicals you know and those you don’t (like Black Hawk Up, Pappillon The Musical and The Lion Queen) and now he’s mad as hell and won’t take it any more! And it's all part of Paine's hysterical new Melbourne International Comedy Festival show: Chad Bradley – How to Make a Musical
Bradley is a character Paine invented for Spontaneous Broadway over ten years ago and this is his first solo outing. "He’s sort of every dance teacher/theatre tragic I’ve ever met and if there’s ever been a one-man show, Chad’s it," says Paine who was in London last year, saw three musicals in two days and came away thinking, "I think I’ve got the basics."
Thus Chad's step-by-step guide to a kick ass show, includes:
• Choreography For Beginners (and straight guys)
• We’re All Friends (of Dorothy) Here
• Upstaging – The Darkest Art of All
• The Big Finish – all the elements come together.
Paine's entry into Neighbours was a fortuitous one having been discovered by the Grundy Organization while performing in a college play at the Victorian Arts Centre – a screen test and an offer later, Paine was on the road to what would become a wide and varied career.
The Neighbours gig (1986–1987, with a brief return in 1989) paved the way for guest spots on A Country Practice, Blue Heelers, City Homicide, Halifax F.P., Good Guys Bad Guys and Mal.Com to name a few. Paine has also been working in theatre: The New Rocky Horror Show, Hair and writing and directing It’s a Dad Thing and Fringe show, Unpack This. He's also been active in the impro scene, and that’s where this show starts from.
Paine describes himself as being from the character/impro school of comedy.
"You (or the audience) dig a deep hole and you have to get out of it," he explains. "There are as many Comedy styles as music these days (wry observational, angry rants, gentle politics, down and dirty, etc), but impro as a style is getting a resurgence and that’s where I am. It’s both a game and a challenge you put out to the audience; come on, have a go, let’s see where this takes us."
"TV and film gets plenty of exposure, but there’s nothing to get your blood going like live theatre (especially when you’re making it up on the spot). It’s immediate, sometimes terrifying but mostly great fun."
Chad Bradley Presents How to Make a Musical is being directed by actor and comedian Ross Daniels ( work includes: City Homicide, Stingers, Blue Heelers, Something in the Air, Janus as well as performing in many MICF shows) The pair met on the impro scene in the 90’s and have worked together in various shows, both live and on radio since – The X-Fools for Austereo, Control Freaks for the comedy festival, toured with Unpack This! – and, according to Paine – are still making each other laugh.
How To Make A Musical promises to lift the lid on hoofing, belting and swinging! "Love musicals or hate them, this show is for you," enthuses Paine who tells me it’s both a masterclass in what makes a musical (songs, story, choreography) and a great night’s impro. "I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve to get ideas from the audience and in the last 10 minutes, I do a mini musical to pull all the elements together. And who knows, you might get the chance to show off in front of your friends."
So kick your heels up and let Chad Bradley make you a star!
Chad Bradley: How To Make A Musical April 8 – April 20