For two exciting and dynamic weeks, Chapel off Chapel, a popular live theatre complex situated fifteen minutes south – east of the CBD, plays host to the Melbourne Cabaret Festival. An annual event since 2010, this year’s line – up is particularly diverse and flavoursome.
Featuring some of the industry’s top exponents of the craft, acts include:
- Fire Walk With Us: The Music Of Twin Peaks;
- Peter Allen – Live in Inverted Commas;
- Practically Perfect – The Music of Julie Andrews;
- Someone’s Daughter with Alyce Platt, and,
- We’ve Only Just Begun: The Music Of The Carpenters.
Justin Clausen and Jamie Burgess are two rising stars on the national cabaret, club and musical theatre scene. To date, both men have an extensive and varied list of professional credits. Blessed with catwalk looks and infectious humour to spare, the pair have joined forces to create one of the more quirky and thrilling offerings for this year’s schedule.
He’s Every Woman draws on a fascinating and entertaining premise. This being, what would it be like to sing some of pop music’s most famous diva – driven classics from a male perspective?
Variations on this immersive model, have been used by the likes of international outings such as New York City’s Broadway Backwards and Melbourne’s own Twisted Broadway. In both instances, many of theatre’s leading names tackle the industry’s biggest and brightest show tunes, traditionally reserved for the opposite gender.
It has to be said that Clausen and Burgess have set and met a high bar indeed. In their hour – long presentation, they don’t hold back. Together, the team tick all of the requisite boxes with knowing flair, meanwhile putting their own spin on each tune. Further still, their collection of stunning outfits and Clausen’s high heel shoes are alone, almost worth the price of admission.
In playful and whirlwind fashion, the duo showcase the powerhouse likes of Tina Arena, Beyonce, Mariah Carey, Tracy Chapman, Cher, Celine Dion, Whitney Houston, Liza Minnelli, Olivia Newton John, Donna Summer, Tina Turner, and Bonnie Tyler. He’s Every Woman’s anecdotal script is loose and fun, as we learn how each of these women have inspired and motivated them to be included.
Listed in no particular order, the show’s exciting set list includes pop standards and soft ballads such as:
- Baby Can I Hold You?;
- Delta Dawn;
- Enough Is Enough;
- If I Could Turn Back Time;
- I Have Nothing;
- I Know Him So Well;
- I’m Every Woman;
- Let’s Get Physical;
- Let Me Be There;
- My Heart Will Go On;
- River Deep – Mountain High;
- Show Me Heaven;
- The Power Of Love; and,
- Total Eclipse Of The Heart.
Every piece is worked to excellent effect. Meaning, not only is Clausen’s and Burgess’ blending and harmonising first rate, these works are performed with an emotional commitment designed to take viewers everywhere.
Clausen and Burgess also share a relaxed, natural and legitimate on – stage chemistry. Used as the primary link between songs, their witty and self – deprecating banter will keep audience members fully – engaged at all times. They must be congratulated for creating a vehicle which highlights both their outstanding vocal and performing ability, too.
Two particular stand – out moments include a brilliant tongue – in – cheek tribute to Cher, and a touching personal story which leads into Tracy Chapman’s Baby, Can I Hold You? With Clausen on mike and Burgess at the piano, this show is a real winner. I guarantee, they will have you up and dancing by the end of their act.
Solid sound and lighting, as well as the cafe – style layout, give Chapel Off Chapel’s intimate Loft space a funky night club appeal. At times, there is a stadium – sized vibe, too.
He’s Every Woman makes the most of its six o’clock rock time slot. I can’t think of a more pleasurable way to end the day, than to spend sixty minutes with this jovial team.
Playing for a strictly – limited season until this Saturday, catch them while you can.