A question for you… What happens when you mix three attractive women, the unforgettable music of Cy Coleman and sprinkle everything with a dangerous amount of talent? You have the full flavoured sound of Cyrens. Performing a brand new show at this year’s Melbourne Cabaret Festival, these three will remind you of what swinging jazz is really all about.
Amanda Harrison (Wicked), Chelsea Renton-Gibb (Cabaret, Chicago) and Melissa Langton (The Fabulous Singlettes) combined their voices to create a unique and memorable evening dedicated to Cy Coleman. If you’re unfamiliar about Cy Coleman then you’re in luck. Theatre People were able to grab a few moments with the amazing Amanda Harrison who can tell us more about Cy Coleman and Cyren’s tribute to him.
TP: How long have you been performing this show?
AH: It’s so new its brand is spanking like you wouldn’t believe! We will be debuting at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival on June 21 and Melbourne gets to see this shiny new show right after that!
TP: What is it about?
AH: It’s a songbook style cabaret. Cy Coleman was one of the coolest jazz cats as well as a Tony Award-winning composer of shows such as Sweet Charity and City of Angels. Mark Jones, our intrepid Musical Director, has come up with some stunning new arrangements of classic Cy tunes as well as new and interesting spins on the less well-known material.
TP: What sort of person is going to love this show?
AH: People who love musical theatre and jazz. The music has a universal appeal and the four-piece band led by Mark will be swingin’! There are some classic comedy and cabaret moments. There is definitely something for everyone.
TP: What do you love about it?
AH: Getting to sing with my friends Melissa and Chelsea. They are both exceptional singers and together I think we create a magnificent sound that will be inspiring for the audience to hear.
TP: Why did you want to be involved in Cyrens?
AH: It’s tough these days in the old Musical Theatre business. Fewer and fewer opportunities are presenting themselves in the mainstream arena, so creating work for ourselves is a way to stay creative and keep our faces out there!
TP: What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this Cyrens?
AH: The music. It’s quite intricate and detailed and the harmonies Mark has arranged are some of the coolest I’ve heard, but it’s tricky to learn. Lots and lots of lyrics too!
TP: How is this production bringing something new to the 2017MCF?
AH: The show is slick, groovy and cool. I think people will find it refreshing. \
TP: What’s the biggest challenge about bringing Cyrens to life?
AH: Getting all three of us together in the one space has been a challenge. We are all mothers and have very busy lives and demanding families, so it’s been interesting trying to get it all together.
TP: Who’s the funniest person in the cast in real life?
AH: We are all pretty funny! The show allows us each to have comedy moments and due of our background in musical comedy we all shine at various points.
TP: Who is the drama queen?
AH: Definitely me. For heaven’s sake, there weren’t even biscuits at rehearsal. I had to have a word with Melissa about it. I mean really, not even a ginger snap??
TP: What’s the last thing you do before you step out on stage / the curtain goes up?
AH: Take a few deep breaths and try and remember the first thing I have to say! The old memory isn’t what it used to be, so one can never have enough practice time!
TP: Without giving anything away, what’s your favourite line of dialogue?
AH: My Ethel Merman impersonation of her singing Witchcraft is a sight to behold.
TP: What’s going to surprise people about this show?
AH: Just how many brilliant songs Cy Coleman was responsible for.
TP: Call someone out by name: who must come see this production?
AH: Chrissie Swan. It would be right up her alley.
TP: What are you hoping the audience reaction will be to your show?
AH: That people enjoy the great music, and have a few laughs and go away feeling like they have spent time with three incredible singers.
TP: What will the audience be thinking about in the car as they drive home after this show?
AH: They’ll be thinking about how clever we all are for remembering such a massive songbook!
TP: What does it mean to you to be part of the 2017 MCF?
AH: We are excited to be a part of the brilliant line up of shows.
TP: What sort of impression do you think the Melbourne Cabaret Festival will have on its audiences in 2017?
AH: People will be amazed at the talent that has been pulled together. Creative people are very industrious and the Melbourne Cabaret Festival is a shining example of the creativity available at any one time in our city.
So ladies and gentlemen, less so boys and girls, if you are looking for something sophisticated, witty and something so cool it should be served with ice, then make Cyrens part of your Melbourne Cabaret Festival experience.
Date: 27, 30th June & 1 July
Venue: Chapel Off Chapel – 12 Little Chapel St, Prahran
(*) This performance may contain Adult Themes.
The Melbourne Cabaret Festival is supported by the City of Stonnington and by the Victorian Government through Creative Victoria.