Posts Tagged ‘Luke Kennedy

16
Jan
17

Rumour Has It

Rumour Has It

The Little Red Company

Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre

January 13 – 14 2017

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

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If you were around a few years ago, you might recall a random little cabaret space above a Swedish restaurant in Albion named Stockholm Syndrome. Sadly, the venue disappeared, but The Little Red Company’s Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele has continued to evolve since its short stint there, in front of sixty people per night during Queensland Cabaret Festival, leaping from stage to stage, and reaching a loyal band of followers as well as bringing brand new audiences to Cabaret, and to the world of sassy superstar singer-songwriter, Adele.

Created by Adam Brunes and Naomi Price on a patio one night over a bottle of gin, as all the best works are, the multi-award winning Rumour Has It was immediately a brilliant and poignant, hilarious and highly entertaining show. Each reincarnation has proved hugely satisfying and in its current form, the most impressive yet, Rumour Has It is more sophisticated and more memorable than ever. It’s ready to tour the world…but first, a national tour, beginning with the highly anticipated three-shows-only season at THE HOUSE OF POWER.

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For the first time, by popular demand, Little Red offered an all-ages version of Rumour Has It. Based on the success of their recent sell-out season in Kuala Lumpur – no (swearing) and thank you please, Madam – giving the youth a chance to see for themselves what all the fuss is about, however; it wasn’t the show Poppy and I wanted to see. My ten-going-on-thirty-year-old had patiently waited for her father to give up his +1 status and accepted there’d be a fuckload of swearing on Friday night, which was “in the context of the show”.

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In role as Adele, frocked up again in Leigh Buchanan’s sensational original designs (and delightedly, barefoot before the final number), Price shares delicious home truths about growing up in Tottenham, surviving/thriving after break-ups and gives us her cheeky, self-satisfied account of her meteoric rise to fame. The story segments, political references and razor sharp responses to audience input are fast, fresh and funny. Price is more adept in front of a live audience than most, the old patter landing as squarely as when we first heard it in 2012 and the new material testament to the bold wit of this writing duo, who have wisely updated the set list too, to include Adele’s latest hits. Hello is a stirring finish before the final encore, and the Adele Megamix 3000 created especially to give credit to the amazing musicians and vocalists with whom Price shares the stage.

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For the first time, the Camerata, Brisbane’s chamber orchestra, are featured throughout, adding depth to a Spice Girls medley (who would’ve thought!?), and rich layers to Adele’s catalogue of songs. The original string arrangements by Andrew Johnson are most notable after Interval (Sound by Jamie Taylor), taking Skyfall into the stratosphere while silver confetti rains down onto the stage. At the other end of the spectrum, during the acoustic Daydreamer, we’re not so much surrounded by bubbles (visually spectacular in a previous season), as witness to a gentle reminder that this is a show so good it insists on returning to us time and time again despite the challenges faced by Australian artists generally, i.e. coming up with dollars for special effects and spaces…

The band, comprising Michael Manikus (keys), Jason McGregor (guitar), Scotty French (bass) and Mik Easterman (drums) is the slickest, and if you’ve supported the artists by taking home a CD of the show, recorded live at the Judith Wright Centre, you’ll also hear Brett Fowler on keys and Andrew Johnson on bass as well as Tom Oliver singing vocals (he’s currently touring in Velvet). On vocals this time, the incomparable Luke Kennedy returns to join sensational husband and wife team, Lai Utovou and Rachel Everett-Jones. Until you’ve seen this trio perform, you ain’t seen or heard backing vocals. They’re dynamic and disciplined, and they each shine, Price rightly giving them a moment in the spotlight before the night is over. (Previously, we’ve seen them in brighter light from the start and I’d love to see more of them again next time, rather than straining to see them against the black tabs. The same can be said of Manikus, disappearing at times into the shadows on the opposite side of the stage). I’ve always adored Jason Glenwright’s design featuring vintage lampshades and in THE HOUSE OF POWER the warm, glowing effect is not lost. Even in this spacious venue, we feel warmth and intimacy (and splintering pain during Someone Like You), and the genuine affection Price feels for her Brisbane audience, even those from Woodridge…

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The sound is heavenly (largely due to Price bravely investing as much of her personal story in the songs as her reading of Adele’s; it’s there in the intimacy and connection she creates with her audience with a superb voice, stronger than ever, and a great big open heart). Not to be discounted or taken for granted, it’s incredibly rare to get the same level of energy and commitment at the same time from such a large number of performers on stage (it’s what’s often missing from so many sold-out smash-hit mega musicals and why we come away from them satisfied but without minds blown), but this company radiates joy; it’s impossible to leave the show feeling anything less than rapture. Really. (Let’s add to the Little Red Must Write List, a Blondie show).

Rumour Has It has come of age; it’s the best it’s ever been. With all the pieces in place, this Rumour Has It is ready for Royal Albert Hall. Naomi Price is as good as Adele – better, because she’s ours – and this production is surely the country’s most accomplished showcase of the sort of humble, sensational Australian talent that’s consistently wowing overseas presenters and punters. And all this from a little Queensland company that could.

This is not the end. Rumour Has It is coming to a venue near you

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16
Dec
16

Smooth Criminals: The Songs of Michael Jackson

Smooth Criminals: The Songs of Michael Jackson

Brisbane Powerhouse & Christopher Wayne

Brisbane Powerhouse Theatre

December 4 2016

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

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It’s the music of Michael Jackson but not as we know it.

The odd couple of the entertainment industry, Joel Turner (world champion beat boxer and platinum selling hip hop artist) and Luke Kennedy (The Voice & The Ten Tenors), make a perfect pair on stage in a celebration of the music and the memory of the King of Pop. Who would have thought this unlikely combination would bring any sort of success? Producer, Chris Wayne, that’s who, and together with Turner and Kennedy, his gamble paid off with a single sold-out show at Brisbane Powerhouse during Wonderland, and subsequent talks to take this universally appealing show on the road.

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The magic of Smooth Criminals – n.b. there’s no nakedness or actual magic tricks – is a unique take on Michael Jackson’s discography, taking us on a journey through his unenviable life, from boy to man to immortal. It’s not a succession of greatest hits but rather, a poignant and personal account, seen mainly through Kennedy’s eyes, as he shares his encounters with the man’s music, reimagined and thrillingly remixed in collaboration with Turner and talented musos, Michael Manikus and Scotty French.

Smooth Criminals offers to a new generation a truly original take on MJ’s classic pop sound, but it caters to the die-hard fans first.

 

732a0363Kennedy, front and centre, demands our full attention. He’s as relaxed as we’ve ever seen him, gracious and respectful to the living memory of Michael Jackson, and confident, cute and actually flirtatious, inviting one guest to join him on the edge of the stage as he serenades her. This is a perfectly orchestrated crowd pleasing moment – we might think it’s a gimmick (she’s surely a plant!) – but Kennedy retains an ease that’s impossible to fake. We believe. He has us in the palm of his hand. AND he has this gorgeous Heath Ledger thing going on, as if he’s ready to bound through the tiered seating, singing……

 

You’re singing it now, aren’t you?

 

Kennedy emits the same sort of abandon, irresistible. Despite his protestations, he retains a crooner core, but Kennedy boasts a much broader vocal range and emotional spectrum than most, and he has the technical precision to sing just about anything. If you were privy to his Gethsemane several years ago (or anything since, really, let’s face it, even his National Anthem is nothing less than spectacular), you can imagine the power and control rendered behind even the simplest pop song. Yet, he remains humble and grateful.

Ben is a bittersweet treat, and Kennedy brings to it a sense of such simplicity and purity that we might imagine it’s the first time we’ve ever heard it, and for the very youngest audience members, it might be so. How lucky are they?! The Girl is Mine bounces beautifully between the artists, demonstrating an easy camaraderie and a great sense of cheeky comedy.

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Smooth Criminal and Dirty Diana delve a little deeper and darker, although not once is there anything that goes into shadowy controversy, nor does there need to be. The crowd is on side from the outset (Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’, Remember the Time) and we need no reminders of anything other than the genius and the music of the man. The genius of these new arrangements is in Turner’s work, providing depth and soul beneath Kennedy’s vocal line, and on the odd occasion, the perfect harmony as well. The guy can sing. 

The collective energy is palpable during an earth medley, linking Heal the World, We Are the World and Man in the Mirror. (When was the last time you heard these numbers straight up, unparodied, with feeling?). It’s almost an anti-climax to hear the sensitive Gone Too Soon. A bigger, bolder finish would leave this show at Man in the Mirror, and make an encore of Billie Jean, bringing Turner out front too, with both amazing artists wearing one white glove. It seems remiss to keep Turner behind his mixing table, sans iconic symbol. Perhaps that’s as he wished. Let’s hope he wishes for more of the spotlight next time.

With Kennedy’s talent and a natural flair for performance, and Turner’s uncanny vocal and technical ability making each number an exciting and unique immersive musical experience for all ages, these two are not as unlikely a pair as they first appear to be.

Smooth Criminals is a sure hit, a thrilling tribute to Michael Jackson – the man and his music – and if you missed it in 2016 I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before you’ll see it at a venue near you.

Remember The Time from Chris Wayne on Vimeo.

24
Nov
16

Wonderland – 10 Top Picks

Wonderland!

 

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Wonderland opens tonight! Get ready for three weeks of high energy entertainment in the intoxicating heat of Brisbane’s Summer nights.

Wonderland is Brisbane’s end-of-year carnival of surprise and delight.

With 31 shows over 14 days, you’re invited to flirt with the unexpected and step into a euphoric world of body bending antics and late night temptations…

 

1. Phelan Groovy

Don’t miss the star of Dirty Dancing in Phelan Groovy, part auto biographical, part celebrity dish and ALL entertainment. For if there’s one thing Kurt Phelan has learned through life, it’s to only say 10% of what he thinks. Now you get the other 90% but only from tonight until Saturday at 8:45pm.

 

 

 

2. Wild Heart

Grand Finalist of The Voice and one of Australia’s most gifted singer/songwriters, Ellen Reed, won the hearts of a nation with her soaring voice and unshakable spirit as the Team Jessie J favourite. In Wild Heart, a one night only concert on Wednesday November 30 with her band, we can experience her national television defining performances live in the Powerhouse Theatre, with soulful renditions of Sia’s Chandelier, Demi Lovato’s Stone Cold, and Pink’s Perfect. Ellen Reed will also debut her new single Wild Heart and perform her upcoming album of original tracks including Ask Me to Stay, Blur and Not Tonight. A special Wonderland treat, not to be missed!

 

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3. Smooth Criminal

Not only is Christopher Wayne one half of the global success story, The Naked Magicians, but he’s also producing some of the hottest shows we’ll see over the next couple of summers. Smooth Criminals brings together the odd couple of Australia’s entertainment industry, Luke Kennedy and Joel Turner. For one show only, on Sunday at 4pm, audiences will get the chance to experience Michael Jackson’s back catalogue as they’ve never heard before, when Kennedy (The Voice, Season 2 runner up, The Ten Tenors) and Turner (world champion beat boxer and platinum selling hip hop artist) join forces to share in their love for the greatest entertainer to ever live, in a musical experience like no other. This is the must-see Smooth Criminals.

 

Remember The Time from Chris Wayne on Vimeo

 

4. More Than A Boy

Starring Tom Oliver, More Than A Boy is a playful rite-of-passage about family and adventure, do-or-die situations and seemingly random events that build character and shape destiny. Featuring an eclectic mix of original songs written by Tom, Andrew McNaughton and Wes Carr (Australian Idol winner), theatre tunes and reworked contemporary hits, More Than A Boy magically weaves together the stories of a Croatian refugee forging a new life and a grandson who follows his dreams. Backed by a live band, get the adrenalin pumping and experience Tom Oliver shoot for the stars in this lively quest journey.

 

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5. The Lady of the House of Love

If you’ve never seen this show – or this artist – you’re in for a real treat. Performed by award-winning artist Sandro Colarelli, The Lady of the House of Love is a darkly eerie and exotic one-man show exploring the themes of desire and destiny. With original music composed by award winning singer-songwriter Jake Diefenbach, this combination of evocative narrative and stunning songs harks back to the darkest roots of cabaret.

 

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6. Other Women

This is the season’s sexiest circus-cabaret! Starring Lizzie Moore, Eliza Dolly, Rosie Peaches, Freyja Edney with a Chloe-Rose Taylor. Other Women: Temptress or tempting? Fast woman or free-spirited? If a man is a stud, what is a woman? Enter the world of Other Women: a provocative and witty circus-cabaret celebrating female sexuality and exploring sexual double standards. A thrilling live band, circus soloists and burlesque cheek electrify the stage in this World Premiere performance. Featuring an eclectic mix of songs by artists such as Nina Simone, Goldfrapp and Prince; Other Women explores promiscuity, and our contradictory views towards women and their sexual behaviour.

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7. Emma Dean in Concert

Heralded for her captivating vocals by the New York Post, Brisbane’s own Emma Dean is a consummate performer and has released over ten independent original albums/EPs.She has toured the world, performing alongside Jesca Hoop and Kate Miller-Heidke, and in support of Macy Gray, Jinkx Monsoon, Katie Noonan, Amanda Palmer and The Dresden Dolls. Emma will be joined by her brother, Tony Dean to perform an eclectic catalogue of songs exploring love, loss and light. One show only on Saturday December 3 at 4pm.

 

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8. The Chaser’s Australia

Discover The Chaser’s Australia with Charles Firth and James Schloeffel. A very special multi-media presentation of The Chaser’s Australia. Covering politics, culture, religion, sport and jokes about Karl Stefanovic, it includes a special segment on Australian cooking, and why chicken salt is the only ingredient you’ll ever need. It also includes an extra special presentation on the environment entitled “There’s Absolutely Nothing to Worry About”, sponsored by the Minerals Council of Australia. If you only attend one event this year, you should probably go out a bit more often. The Chaser’s Australia; it’s everything you wanted to know about Australia, but were too apathetic to ask. One show only tonight at 7:15pm.

 

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9. Mills and Boom!

Join the Fanciful Fiction Auxiliary, a fictitious amateur writers’ group of oddball characters with fake hair, fake lashes, and real passion, for its personally acclaimed stage show. Mills and Boom! is a simply stupendous salon of bosom-heaving, lip-quivering ecstasy during which we regale you with our smouldering romance stories. Featuring Pascalle Burton, Carody Culver, Adam Hadley, Michelle Law, Ian Powne, Tessa Rose, Jackie Ryan, Leah Shelton, Lucas Stibbard, and Neridah Waters. One show only on Sunday December 5 at 5pm.

 

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10. House of Mirrors

The House of Mirrors is a grotesquely fascinating walk-through installation composed of a labyrinth of seemingly endless mirrors. Since the 19th Century, mirror mazes have been trapping and reflecting participants, challenging those that venture into them, both physically and psychologically, resulting in delight, amazement and sometimes, fear. The House of Mirrors includes Kaleidoscopic like chambers, voids, doorways and darkened breaks, the purist and most traditional form of a mirrored maze. No added gimmicks, no special effects, no special lighting, no sound track or soundscape.  The primary ingredients of carefully arranged mirrors, geometry and pure optical illusion.

Please be aware that during busy period, long wait times are possible. We recommend if you pre-book a ticket and plan on experiencing House of Mirrors before another show, to give yourself ample time in case of lines. Your House of Mirrors experience could take anywhere between 5 minutes and 20 minutes, depending on how fast you solve the maze.

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27
Apr
13

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Judith Wright Centre

Judith Wright Centre & The Little Red Company 

24th – 28th April 2013

 

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

 

Rumour has it The Little Red Company is planning to take Sixty Minutes Inside Adele overseas.

 

 

Rumour Has It. Naomi Price. Image by Dylan Evans.

I first saw this show in Stockholm (Brisbane’s short-lived cabaret space upstairs at Stockholm Syndrome Cafe and Bar in Albion) after it had premiered at the Gold Coast Arts Centre last year. Since then the work has evolved considerably, and the latest version is superior, combining spellbinding vocals and slick, witty patter – less of it – with a hot band (Jason McGregor, Andrew Johnson, Mik Easterman & Brett Fowler) and three polished performers on backing vocals (Rachel Everett-JonesLuke Kennedy & Laisiasa Utovou).

 

The Judy has never felt so welcoming, with a free exhibition in the Shopfront by Photographer Dylan Evans (The Dylan Evans Experience features Adele Uncovered, a collection of “candid” shots of Naomi Price as Adele), and a brand new configuration inside the theatre, at Price’s request, to avoid distancing herself from her audience. Price is a performer who knows instinctively what an audience wants. And she delivers on every level.

 

The Up Late show at 10pm on Friday night followed hot on the high black heels of an earlier performance so in the foyer as we collected our tickets and exchanged hugs and kisses (MWAH!) with a crowd that included Chris Beckey, Lauren Jackson, Thomas Larkin, Guy Frawley and Samantha Turk (on her stopover between London and Tanzania. More on that in another post!), there was already a wonderful crossover taking place, as people spilled out and collided into those who were waiting to take their seats inside. There was amazing energy in the air, and a level of excitement usually reserved for opening nights.

 

Naomi Price, possessing greater talent than I suspect even she realises, has reached an exciting place with this version of the show. Co-created with Adam Brunes over gin on the back deck, and refined over five recent seasons across the country, Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is a very different show. It’s suddenly a great deal more sophisticated, thrusting Price back into a spotlight she’d stepped away from for a year, if you recall, of touring schools and teaching singers. Price seems to have realised (or remembered) where it is she belongs and that is in the spotlight, in front of a captivated crowd.

 

The ambience is helped by big perfect sound, by Jason Glenwright’s swish lighting design (this guy is EVERYWHERE!), featuring a fantastic collection of vintage lamp shades, hanging at various lengths in various places about the space, and the rather ramshackle relaxed and cosy “cabaret” style seating arrangement. It’s easy to envisage this show going on in any of the world’s top cabaret venues. It’s as if this extra show has been added to let us know it’s now ready for the international circuit. (I can’t wait to see it again soon, Supper Club style, in the intimate space of berardo’s during the internationally renowned Noosa Long Weekend Festival!)

 

Every number is stronger and sassier than before. There’s a new intensity, and something between sympathy and integrity replaces much of the parody. We see more of Adele and fewer of her superfluous layers, which have been stripped away by a couple of pairs of discerning eyes during the redevelopment process. The subtle changes make for a slicker, more honest performance.

 

Rumour Has It. Naomi Price. Image by Dylan Evans.

A master of mood change, Price takes us effortlessly from one number to the next, for the first time stepping into the audience with her Musical Director Jason McGregor to sing Daydreamer amidst a cloud of bubbles. She quips about the low (“emerging Queensland artists”) production budget and that sadly, bubbles were the best they could do. It’s funny because it’s true. (How lucky are our artists, to have venues and presenters like The Judy supporting them? More on THAT in another post!). In the same breath, the song takes over in an extended, spellbinding moment that could just as easily, in somebody else’s hands, have come across as a cheap way into a gorgeous song, and not in the least bit funny or entertaining. There are several moments like this throughout the show, when Price so expertly manipulates content and form to achieve the desired response from her audience that we find we’re swept along with her – by her – before we know it.

 

 

 

 

This is pure and simple magic; the command of the craft and the compelling connection between artist and audience only ever created by the most accomplished and confident performers.

 

And in case we are in any doubt at all about the artist’s phenomenal talent or broad appeal, before the night is over, Price doles out some wicked send-ups of notable singers, including the Spice Girls, Celine Dion, Taylor Swift and Amy Winehouse. In another new addition, her soaring rendition of Skyfall is sublime. We see, once again, that in any guise Price first serves the lyric, and lives out every moment of her heartfelt story through song.

 

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There’s no doubt that Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is ready for a global audience. There’s even a twelve-month window while Adele is in “lock-down mode” and The Little Red Company would do well to fill the gap.

 

Nathanael Cooper said it too: this show is a star vehicle and Naomi Price is about to skyrocket.

 

“I think the show as it stands now is a combination of the ridiculous, outlandish humour and moments of absolute poignant truth.”

Naomi Price, in an interview with Paul Andrew

24
Dec
12

How to Make Snow

How to Make Snow

 

How to Make Snow

the little red company & St Lawrence’s College

ERPAC St Lawrence’s College

20th – 22nd December 2012

 

Reviewed by Rebecca Matthews

 

How to Make Snow is a wonderfully entertaining production, which follows a young boy’s quest to learn how to make snow for his Grandad.  The journey he goes on brings him into contact with all kinds of colourful characters who reminisce about the time they last saw snow, and give him their advice on how to go about this epic quest… in the 40-degree heat of Australia.

 

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It’s a brand new show, created especially for the Christmas season, by Daniel Evans (Writer & Director) and Naomi Price (Producer and Director of the little red company). How to Make Snow enjoyed a very short, sweet season over just one weekend so if you missed it, I’m afraid that a little piece of magic has passed you by this year. But don’t worry, this creative team will be back again next year.

 

Such talent attracts talent, and this production was enhanced by the honest performances of Marco GhikasBryan ProbetsMirusia Louwerse and Luke Kennedy, of The Ten Tenors fame. With musical direction from Kennedy & Michael Manikus, lighting by Jason Glenwright and design by Josh McIntosh, this production couldn’t fail!

 

I absolutely loved the visual overload that made this production so entertaining for all ages. There was no shortage of clues and visual delights for those who did not get the subtleties of love lost and love remembered in this storyline.

 

The company, which included a sizeable youth ensemble, was great. The choir’s numbers and some of the solos particularly were breathtaking. We may have turned up at a school to see this show but it was, in so many ways, much more than a school production. It was, in fact, exactly what you would expect from a school given the opportunity to work collaboratively with a professional production company. I was sitting there imagining all the hours these kids had given up to perfect their performances and it definitely paid off. I found it inspiring for my own children to see such a wide variety of ages and roles utilised in this play and hoped it might spark something in them; that they might want to be part of fabulous performances such as this in the future.

 

The play gave plenty of time for the audience to reminisce about their own experiences and to remember the good times. Our own white Christmas memories came suddenly and vividly to life, and my boys and I have since talked for days about many a Christmas past, and our family and friends in other places.

 

With the danger of a spoiler alert, let’s just say it was a happy ending and I was the fool in the front row, sobbing; crying my eyes out at the beautiful spectacle of a white Christmas in the searing heat of Australia.

 

When this beautiful little production returns – and it will – go and see it for yourself, take the kids and the grandparents and I promise you’ll be reaching for the sled, and the tissues.

 

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14
Dec
12

Mirusia: A Sneak Peek at How to Make Snow

How to Make Snow

International ARIA Award winning Soprano Mirusia Louwerse took time out from a short break in New Zealand to tell us about a very special new Christmas show… How to Make Snow 

You’ve just wrapped a national tour, which started on the Sunshine Coast and finished up in Sydney. How did it go? It was great! We opened in my home city of Redlands which was really special. It has been fantastic to perform for my Australian fans and friends again and I am just loving being back home.

Which Australian cities do you love and why? Every city has something special about it so it is very hard for me to choose one. I love the harbour in Sydney, the European influence in Melbourne, the area Glenelg in Adelaide…but of course Brisbane is home and it is where my heart is.

What’s your background and how did you come to be a singer? I have Dutch parents, but I was born in Australia, so my parents taught me English through music and singing. And I just loved singing, it was just something I really liked and to their surprise I could hold a tune at 4 years old. I always just continued to sing and there has never been a moment where I didnt want to sing. It has been a big part of my life, in fact it is my life.

You got your start with Andre Rieu. How did that happen? My Aunt in the Netherlands was secretly sending out demo cds and emails to companies in Holland. I actually didn’t realise to what extent she was doing this until one night I had Andre Rieu himself on the phone! He had been looking at my website and asked if I would like to tour with him around the world. I said I would like that very much, and he then asked if he could meet me. So I flew over to Maastricht in The Netherlands and it was an instant connection. I left the next day with a contract in hand and the rest is history!

Mirusia Louwerse

What do you love about working with Andre? He is very spontaneous and spur of the moment. Some of his best decisions have come from just being spontaneous and following his gut feeling and it is a very exciting lifestyle. Also his passion for music is something I share with him and admire.

What do you love about singing? I love that I can touch people hearts just by doing what I love. There is a real power in music.

What are the most important things for young singers to remember? Just remember to sing with passion and don’t think about the technique too much. You naturally have a voice, an therefore I believe everyone can also naturally sing. Just breathe and relax!

Have you got a stage fright story? I personally have never had stage fright but I always feel so sorry for people who do. For me it’s just a huge adrenaline rush.

How do you deal with any nerves? I always think positively and breathe. And also make sure I know the music!

How do you prepare for a performance? I always make sure I have a meal about two hours before a concert. That way I have the energy up. I take my time with hair and make up and getting dressed and I always warm up a little to make sure all my notes are there. I always find it important to be positive and be surrounded by positive people before a concert. It keeps the mood and vibe up.

Tell us about your upcoming performance in the little red company’s original Christmas musical, How to Make Snow. I’m so looking forward to being a part of this new Christmas musical. When Naomi asked me to be a part of it there was no way I could say no. I’m excited about the part that I play and can’t wait to perform with the other talented artists in the show including Luke Kennedy and Bryan Probets. The idea is fantastic and I think Brisbane will just love this fresh new idea.

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Tell us about working with this creative team. When we first started brainstorming ideas for what music I would sing, I wasn’t sure yet of what my exact role in the storyline was. Looking back now, Luke Kennedy, Michael Manikus and I couldn’t have chosen a better song for my part. Working with Daniel Evans is fantastic. He is such a great Director and the beautiful and touching story that he has written with ideas from Naomi Price is just so special. It’s a delight to work with this fantastic fresh and creative team, and also an honour to call them my friends.

How do you usually approach, and prepare for, a new work? I like to sit back and have a think about the true meaning of the song or musical and think about what it emotionally means to me. I always perform with my full heart and really want to audience to feel how I feel.

What was it that attracted you to this project? I like the fact that How to Make Snow is something new. It’s a new idea, a new way of sharing the Christmas Spirit and it’s appropriate for all ages. When I was a kid I loved seeing musicals and musical shows so the vibrancy and the youthful flair in this show will be remembered by young kids for the rest of their lives. It’s really nice to know that just by performing on stage you can create memories that people will take with them forever. The message of this project is so positive and lovely that I hope everyone will take that away with them.

What can you tell us about your role? I’m playing the role of the beautiful Christmas spirit! It’s a very lovely role to be chosen for, but that’s all I can tell you as I don’t want to give too much away!

Why should we see this show? The wonderful positive message of this show is something you will remember forever. Christmas is a special time to be with family and friends and this is the perfect excuse to do something Christmassy without breaking the budget. The story line and the music are just gorgeous and we throw in complimentary air conditioning and SNOW to help you momentarily be transported from the Brisbane Christmas heat!

What’s next for you? I am currently working on some exciting projects for next year. We are working on a new album, which is so exciting, and also an International Tour. Be on the look out!

Where will you be spending Christmas? For the first time in five years I am finally home again for Christmas. It is something I have missed dearly and I cannot wait to be sailing on the waters of Moreton Bay on Christmas Day again just like I used to do when I was younger.

What does Christmas mean to you? Love. Sharing love with all your friends and family.

What do you hope to see happening by next Christmas? I hope to be signing Christmas messages on my new album, singing around the world and sharing many laughs with friends and family. I hope to see How to Make Snow become a National Christmas Tour.

Mirusia Louwerse

How to Make Snow is selling fast! BOOK HERE

Anything can happen if you just believe…

How to Make Snow is a whimsical journey from wheelie-bin lined suburban streets to far-flung ice-fields of the North Pole, as one young boy tries to fulfill a seemingly impossible holiday wish – to make it snow for Christmas. Classic holiday myths, modern storytelling and song meld in this joyful take on a bona fide Yuletide miracle for anyone who’s ever dreamt of, but never received, a white Christmas.

This special festive event for the whole family stars André Rieu’s ‘Angel of Australia’ – ARIA winning soprano Mirusia Louwerse, The Ten Tenors’ Luke Kennedy and award-winning Australian stage and screen actor Bryan Probets, joined by an ensemble of Brisbane’s finest young actors.

Four performances only at the Edmund Rice Performing Arts Centre, South Brisbane.

Director Daniel Evans

Music Director Luke Kennedy

Choreographer Leah Shelton

Designer Josh McIntosh

Music Coordinator Michael Manikus

Lighting Designer Jason Glenwright

 

Featuring Luke Kennedy, Mirusia Louwerse and Bryan Probets joined by an ensemble of Brisbane’s finest young actors.

How to Make Snow

07
Nov
12

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

 

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele

Brisbane Cabaret Festival

Stockholm Syndrome 

2nd & 3rd November 2012

  

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

The Adele Effect

                                                                                                                    

“I just wanna make music…” Adele

 

Naomi Price Adele

Look, I didn’t disclose it before but Naomi Price is a friend of mine. And I don’t mind telling you, without any bias at all, that she is one of a kind. The girl is gorgeous, creative, clever and funny; she possesses an incredible voice and a versatility that means we’ll see her forever, Meryl Streep or Madonna style, and she is humble and hard working. Also, she’s met Cate Blanchett and frequently wears fabulous shoes that I covet, so it goes without saying really, that I’m a big fan.

 

Naomi’s new show, Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is exactly that. It’s sixty superb minutes of alternative pop star, Adele, from the inside out, guts and gags and all.

 

Respectfully donning a fat suit rather than a couple of pairs of Spanx, with trademark red hair on fire – this time it’s flaming, cascading locks by Dextress Hair Face Body – Naomi Price steps out of herself to become Adele before our very eyes…and ears. The voice is pure – no gravelly after-effect of smoker’s vocal damage here – and at the same time, it’s near enough to have us captivated and completely convinced. At times we hear a little vocal fry and the recognisable catches, cries, snags and sobs, as well as THAT LAUGH… but this is not just Adele. This is Naomi Price channelling Adele and it’s much more interesting.

 

Rumour Has It is the upbeat opening number, immediately engaging the full house (everyone is still sober so everyone can get the claps in!), and introducing us to the prowess of musicians, Michael Manikus and Jason McGregor, and the charms and extraordinary vocal versatility of Luke Kennedy, who sings backup, having received charts for the songs only a week before the gig. These guys make a tight outfit and they work seamlessly together to take Adele through her many hits. The next is Rolling in the Deep and it is during this number that we realise we weren’t mistaken; we’ve seen the mannerisms of Adele, her every gesture. And then we hear the speaking voice; it’s the Tottenham accent that baffled America when Adele spoke at the Grammys. The mimicry continues through razor sharp patter, which is co-written by Adam Brunes; it draws from the crowd delighted hoots, whoops and more laughter than I’ve heard from a single audience in a long time. With the additional brilliance of Brunes, known particularly for his marketing savvy at La Boite Theatre Company, the references to Adele’s upbringing, boyfriends and brand new baby boy are backed up by loads of research and the gags are genuinely funny. This is a show that would barely need recontextualising in order to achieve global success.

 

Naomi Price Adele

Outside of the patter, the songs are not so smile inducing. Well, c’mon, the woman’s written a heap of lyrics about “rubbish relationships” (actually, she says everybody assumes she’s miserable so she’s going to stop singing about failed relationships), and Naomi perfectly captures the heartbreak. Not during Someone Like You, as one might expect, as this is ingeniously re-appropriated late in the show into a tongue in cheek medley, comprised of My Heart Will Go On, Love on Top and Rehab (these are performed over three vamps and patter segments, showcasing Naomi’s potential to tour next, among other personalities, a Celine Dion cabaret cum tribute show), but during Turning Tables and Don’t You Remember. Now that’s a whole lotta’ heartbreak and heavy heartache right there. PURE PAIN. And Naomi nails it; we feel every pinch and scratch and below the belt punch in the guts. Again, the body language and gesture help us to take the journey; with head thrown back and hands out as if to steady herself, we are mesmerised by her Adele. Instead of destroying us completely by continuing down the same sad path, however, Naomi just as suddenly gives us her best Spice Girls impersonation in a Chasing Pavements mash-up. You have to see this number to believe it!

 

During interval the intimate space upstairs at Stockholm Syndrome becomes a hive of activity, as friends and industry types mingle and collectively rave; a sure sign that the Brisbane arts scene is alive and well, and that its community is flourishing and enjoying supporting one another more than ever. Also, that this show is a sure thing. It’s pleasing to note that nobody is faking the rave.

 

We come back from interval to more champagne and more surprises. Luke Kennedy gives us his rendition of Gotye’s Somebody That I Used to Know. Honestly, Kennedy is the whitest black chick since Christina Aguilera and I’d like to see him do his own show next!

 

Following the aforementioned medley, featuring the hilarious Celine Dion impersonation, the perfectly poignant finish is Make You Feel My Love. Naomi induces smiles through tears and leaves everybody wanting more. I’m sure Naomi Price has what other performers wish they could get in a bottle, and what discerning audience members wish was more prevalent on our television screens. She’s a polished performer, bringing a whole lotta’ sass and her own style to the scene.

 

And it’s a tough scene. Cabaret is hard to pull off, y’all! To get the right blend of fun, self-deprecating humour, pathos and pure talent together to convincingly portray (and poke a little fun at) a woman like Adele is testament to The Little Red Company’s ability to break into the country’s cabaret scene with relative ease.

 

Rumour Has It: Sixty Minutes Inside Adele is set to propel Naomi Price on the meteoric rise to fame we’ve all been expecting, if only she can get it seen outside of Australia. With the contacts she and Brunes have between them, I daresay that day (or lively night) is not far away. Meanwhile, for those of you in Sydney and Melbourne, your chance to spend sixty minutes inside Adele is next!

 

Rumour Has It Slide