Tim Draxl in Tyalgum

Tim Draxl

Hearts Aflame Productions Inc

Tyalgum Hall

28th July 2012

Reviewed by Lisa Gallagher

tyalgum hall

We received an invitation to review a Cabaret Show in Tyalgum, Northern NSW…..What was that you say? A night out in Tyalgum, about an hour’s drive from Coolangatta to see the highly acclaimed Tim Draxl, the Tim Draxl whose last gig was at the Sydney Opera House? The Tim Draxl who has been in movies with Olivia Newton John and Brian Brown? Just what could one expect? Tyalgum is a very lovely town, but it is not exactly known for its nightlife, theatre and productions, is it? Hearts Aflame Productions Inc, run by Solar Chapel, organised the night. Solar has staged a number of successful shows at Tyalgum and this show was superb. The night was more than a show, it was a complete experience. How have these wonderful nights existed and we did not know about them?!

The night was promoted as a Cabaret Performance, one where Tim would create an intensely personal evening, featuring the songs and artists that have most influenced his life, crooning a collection of beautiful songs you may expect to hear and little known numbers from the golden era of the great American songbook. Tim had just finished a run at the Opera House, teaming up with writer and journalist Bryce Hallett to create a soulful homage to 1950s West Coast jazz legend, Chet Baker, so we were looking forward to hearing some Chet Baker as well.

Guests had the choice of either the dinner and show package, or just the show. To make the most of the evening, we would have to say, ‘Do the dinner and show!’ From the moment we entered Flutterbies Café, the ambience and warmth of the local setting, and country hospitality the scene was set for a night of entertainment which we will long remember. There were large groups, small groups, friends and couples. The ages were just as varied, but we quickly found the atmosphere to be very friendly with the occasional conversation between tables, for those so inclined. The dinner was delicious, and before the show even starting, we found ourselves saying we would have to get a group together for the next show. People were dressed appropriately for the cool winter’s night but that is where the similarities stopped. It was a fabulous eclectic group of people, with some dressed well enough to attend an opening night show on Broadway, with others going with a more relaxed approach. That is what added to the easy feel to the evening, it was about the experience, no pretence needed.

Tim Draxyl Tyalgum

After dinner we made the short walk up the road to the road to the beautiful Tyalgum Town Hall. It is the perfect venue to listen to music with its high ceilings to complement any performance. Walking into the down to earth, historic and rustic setting of the hall was a lovely sight; the ‘stage’ was an area in front of the stage where Tim was level with the audience. This ensured a true intimate feel; Tim performed a show which oozed sincerity, his obvious enjoyment of being at this quaint venue teamed with the energy from the audience set the scene for a wonderful atmosphere. The tables and chairs were set up in a true cabaret/jazz club style. The tables and chairs were plastic, but once again, no pretence needed. The tables were dressed lovely, and that is all that was needed. It was very refreshing that the ambience of the evening was not achieved through adding unneeded props or furniture.

Tim’s openness throughout the performance, sharing anecdotes and stories from his past further enhanced his connectedness to the night and allowed the audience to join him on an intimate musical journey.

Tim has a wonderful voice which was complimented by the variety of songs he included in his repertoire, having range to sing every note of every song perfectly with a heartfelt energy which showed with every expression he made. The ability of Tim to traverse the gap from performer to the audience is a skill, and Tim was masterful in engaging the audience in each song and pulling them into the emotion of the moment.

Tim Draxyl Tyalgum

On piano, accompanying Tim was Michael Tyack. He is brilliant; his flawless playing and obvious command of the piano guaranteed the night would be a success. Michael has worked on many major musicals from The Boy from Oz to being the Musical Director for the highly popular Mary Poppins. To have these two amazing musicians working together was an absolute treat.

From Gershwin’s They Can’t Take That Away From Me, and a brilliant version of the Chet Baker classic My Funny Valentine to the final song – a memorable rendition of Judy Garland’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow, Tim Draxyl delivered an impressive, enjoyable performance.

Now that we know about Tyalgum’s treasure trove of visiting talent, we can look forward to more nights like this!

Take a look at the website for information about future events from Hearts Aflame Productions and be sure to book for them early!

Hearts Aflame


1 Response to “Tim Draxl in Tyalgum”

  1. 1 Rosemary Wright
    October 12, 2012 at 9:27 am

    Fantastic review! Was actually looking for information on Tim, but I am more excited about this wonderful experience in Tyalgum, will be going to a show for sure!

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