08
Jun
16

I Get the Music In You: An Evening with Jan van de Stool

 

I Get the Music In You:

An Evening With Jan van de Stool

Brisbane Powerhouse & Queensland Cabaret Festival

Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre

 

Reviewed by Katelyn Panagiris

 

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Queenie van de Zandt as the cult character Jan van de Stool – International Musical Therapist, Interpretive Dancer and Singing Psychologist – graces our stage in I Get The Music In You, presented by Queensland Cabaret Festival and Brisbane Powerhouse.

 

First conceived on Brisbane soil in 2005, van de Zandt has since entertained audiences from across the country with her Dutch-Australian satirical self-help guru, Jan van de Stool. Jan is hilarious in her unique methods (“colonic irrigation of the spirit”), occasional misuse of the English language and her deliberate avoidance of the “big notes”. After all, as Jan suggests, belting is called belting for a reason.

 

From the first moments of our evening with Jan van de Stool, we understand that we’re going to be in for a wild ride; you may merely miss being insulted by Jan, but you won’t avoid dancing along to Wind Beneath My Wings with her not-so-interpretative-interpretative dance moves. Nor will you avoid being hypnotised into purchasing a glorious Jan van de Stool barbecue apron, or paying for your sneaky biscuit from the packet of Arnott’s Family Assorted Biscuits in the break room. And finally, you won’t avoid being subjected to a new age world of musical therapy where anything is possible, and if you happen to be really good, you’re probably not going to get a chance to perform (otherwise you may just outshine Jan).

 

In this way, van de Zandt masterfully enrolls the audience as participants in a one-day beginners course where everyone is given a run down of the basics – from stepping into your very own “golden shower” to releasing the tension in your hand by…screaming at your hand. The audience is obviously enthralled by van de Zandt’s deadpan monotonous performance as Jan van de Stool; they are fully participative, amused and outraged as joke after joke and song after song flows from van de Zandt.

 

There is something very familiar and distinctly Australian about this character that appears to win over the affection of the audience. In this role van de Zandt shines as an experienced and versatile vocalist and performer.

 

She gracefully transforms her whole being as she transitions from one character to the next, giving short performances as Jan van de Stool’s unique graduates. In these moments we have an opportunity to relish in the hilarity of Jan and her pupils, but also an opportunity to appreciate van de Zandt’s beautifully captivating voice (which is rather dissimilar to Jan Van de Stool’s).

 

I Get The Music In You is a witty, satirical cabaret shedding light on the wonderful world of musical therapy. It’s a fun evening that will have you laughing out loud to the absurdity of Jan van de Stool in all her wisdom.

 

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