Scott Alan: He Came, He Saw, He Sang a Bit…in Brisbane

Irreverent American humour? Isn’t that an oxymoron? It’s certainly a term I have only used previously to describe our own sense of self-deprecating Aussie humour. Or humor. Whatever.

Whatever, it was what left a lasting impression on me after Scott Alan’s Brisbane Powerhouse appearance on Friday night.

Scott Alan, delivered unto us by Harvest Rain Theatre Company, as the second instalment in their promising Broadway to Brisvegas series, himself delivered, during his debut Australian appearance, something entirely unexpected…he was nervous, raw, honest and absolutely fucking hilarious. The man is a comic genius, of the most irreverent kind!

I’m not sure he had set out to be but at his most self-deprecating, he managed to separate the near-capacity crowd (how many of those were comps, I wonder) quite neatly – we could almost hear it – this rip at the seams, straight down the middle, splitting the new fans and friends from the old. And then another divide: the new who would stay and buy CDs forever and the new who whispered loudly to their partner, “Well, I never! Harvest Rain will be receiving my strongly worded letter!” The audible collective intakes of breath were from audience members Of A Certain Age, who clearly enjoyed the music (no doubt about that), however, they obviously didn’t appreciate the comments that came thick and fast as part of what Sam and I thought was a pretty witty repartee! How torn they must have felt! “How talented!” “How inappropriate!” “How talented!” “How inappropriate!”

…as I have said, I thought it was all tres amusement and I love the man’s work, so the manner in which he chose to deliver it for barely an hour in Brisbane one random night in the middle of his busy schedule annoyed me not. In fact, his blatant disregard for the sensitivities of the audience or singers added to the whole atmosphere, which once again felt, it has to be said, as it did when Shoshana Bean was here, more like a big ol’ High School Musical cast reunion (and I have included the link there, just in case, you know…) than a debut Australian anything. Or else I’m just too old and un-hip – and no doubt too undressed – to hang with the Harvest Rain kids *breathes sigh of relief at this sudden realisation*

I love what Harvest Rain are doing with this series. I’m not sure why they’re not selling out each concert as they are announced. I’m hoping they find a way to attract a much broader audience, an audience from outside their own inner circle. In case I forget to mention it again next time I see you, for the attention of particular friends and industry types, whose faces were noticeably absent; WHERE WERE YOU? I’m telling you, get over the whole Harvest Rain thing – whatever it is, whether or not they are themselves feeding it, WHATEVER – and support this venture!

Support the young and emerging artists who have the opportunity to learn so much from our favourite Broadway singers and songwriters, support another great effort to put Brisbane on the map as a valuable stopover!

Speaking of young and emerging artists, the talent that nearly stole the show was without a doubt, Jordan Pollard and Ellen Reed, both fabulous products of Harvest Rain (and who knows where else. I await their Facebook Fan Pages, due to appear…well, surely, imminently). While I question the decision to put your own up there on a stage in a town that’s not your own, while in your home town, by all means, let your own talent shine! And shine they did! Ellen killed Please Don’t Let Me Go and then turned on her tender side for Always. Jordan’s interpretation of Now was mature and moving (pretty quietly devastating, in fact, just as it should be) and his bold, boy-to-man Over the Mountains might just have been enough to make me predict this stirring soldier’s heart song to be the new Anthem of the musical theatre world. And Jordan Pollard the one to watch. Not that anybody takes any notice of what I say. Or predict. Or watch. Both singers shared stunning voices and just about every emotional change fathomable…and in any Scott Alan piece, you know that’s a roller coaster ride’s worth.

I will certainly look forward to seeing:

  • Harvest Rain’s site updated
  • Any other mention of this concert in any context whatsoever
  • Who turns up, having purchased their tickets, to the next one
  • Who, in fact, we will be turning up to see

In Melbourne on Monday night, appearing with Scott, was Harvest Rain’s Angela Harding, Naomi Price, Luke Kennedy and the star of Wicked in Japan, Melbourne’s own Cassie McIvor, who recently recorded one of the tracks on Scott’s upcoming album. I asked her how the Melbourne show went. Cassie said it was a fantastic night!

She sang 2 songs from the new album, Watch Me Soar and I’m Not Quite Ready Yet To Grieve (her track on his new album).

Cassie spoke highly of  The Malthouse crew, Harvest Rain’s Artistic Director, Tim O’Connor and the visiting singers; “They were not only incredibly talented but some of the most wonderful people I have met in this industry. I really want to work with them again soon.”

Of working with Scott Alan, Cassie said, “Of course, Scott and I have a relationship from New York so it was super cool to hang out with him on my turf. He has been so supportive and he really talked me up during the show, which was nice because it was my first performance in Australia for almost 3 years. He had a great time and I think he is looking forward to coming back again.”

We hope so too, Cassie! Thanks for your comments. We can’t wait to hear your track on the new album!

In the meantime, back to our own little “exceptional piece of art” (thank you indeed, Mr Cooper; come again) EROTIQUE

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