For the past six years a trio of musically and theatrically minded men have come together, in some instances reminiscent of TRON circa 1982, to produce and perform The Beautiful Losers. The TRON reference may at first seem irrelevant but it will soon make sense.
Karlis Zaid developed the idea for The Beautiful Losers after a discussion with fellow performer Eddie Perfect. “The Beautiful Losers started in my own brain when I was sitting with Eddie Perfect watching some of the acts at The Sydney Cabaret Convention 2003. We both began laughing heartily at one particular show, which better remain nameless, that we assumed was meant to be ironic and funny, only to find that it was actually incredibly earnest and 'heartfelt’.”
“Jonesy (Mark Jones) was playing for my lil' cabaret effort at the time, and needless to say my renditions of tunes by Ben Folds, Philip Jeays and Tom Jones' "Delilah" went down like a sack of shit. When I moved back to Melbourne 2 years later, I decided to do whatever-people-wanted-to-call Cabaret, MYYYY way.” For Karlis, cabaret his way is The Beautiful Losers, featuring the songs of Nick Cave, Tim Rogers and of course some original numbers.
The Beautiful Losers currently consists of Karlis, Mark Jones and the most recent addition Mike McLeish. You know that old saying; you’re only as strong as your weakest member? Well this trio is in the unique position where they’re all extremely accomplished performers in their own right, this is the strength behind the show and why it has been so popular for the past six years.
To give you an idea of how impressive the three individuals stack up, the most recent member Mike McLeish recently finished a national tour as the title role in ‘Keating – The Musical’, Mark Jones was the recipient of two Green Room awards in 2009 and Karlis recently played a role in ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’ alongside Geoffrey Rush.
“ The prep for the show generally involves me writing lots of stuff, pitching it to the other 2, having most of it rejected, Jonesy masterfully making pretty much everything sound gorgeous, Mike being the funniest, and then all of us having lively discussions/bitchfights about where to be funny, where to be serious, and how the frig we're gonna come up with a cohesive running order,” Karlis says.
Asked who makes the clutch decisions for the show and Karlis certainly conjures up an image of creativity. “We all make the executive decisions at the moment. Which is a bit like TRON, the 1982 one, in that we're all fighting each other in a game where no one really knows the rules…. We get there in the end, but we're about to employ a director. Before we kill each other with glowing discs.”
The development of The Beautiful Losers is almost like that of a traditional band, changing locations and line-up changes, however Karlis says that with the introduction of McLeish the trio stay ‘motivated’ and have an emphasis on changing material as much as possible.
Keep an eye out for upcoming shows at the Butterfly Club, Melbourne's favourite madhouse. www.thebutterflyclub.com