Inside the Melbourne Cabaret Festival
Emma Clair Fored Butterscotch
If cabaret is the art of moving an audience through storytelling then Emma Clair Ford is quintessentially cabaret. Butterscotch is a 60 minute journey through 3 major moments in Fords life that are clearly poignant to her and are delivered with such truth and weight that you can't help but to be moved by them. Ford interweaves song and story seamlessly throughout her story with the right amount of light and shade that captures your imagination and ensures that you are with her on her journey throughout the evening. It is a refreshing reminder that there are so many ways to avoid the fear of living a life of mediocrity and this performance is surely proof that Emma Clair Ford is living a life that couldn't be further from the mediocre.
Anthony Costanzo Here I Am.
Anthony costanzo is one talented man. His songwriting epitomises the contemporary pop musical theatre genre and he is rapidly forging a reputation as one of Australia's foremost composers emulating the successes of his American contemporaries Scott Alan and Adam Gwon. Costanzo's music is rich, vibrant, quirky, soulful and melodious. His harmonies are brilliantly thought through and well executed and are refreshingly unique to the ear.
Here I am, is a collection of Contanzo's songs along with his current collaborations on new Australian musicals with Peter Fitzpatrick (Partners) and Nick Christo (Trashed). While it is wonderful to hear the music of these brand new shows in a pre workshop setting, it seemed that this workshop style didn't quite fit into the elegance and the moment that Costanzo had set up in the opening of his cabaret. In this setting it would have been enough for the songs to speak for themselves outside of the musicals context.
Six talented performers come together in Here I Am and deliver Costanzo's songs to varying degrees of success. Laura Fitzpatrick shines in her solo from Partners as does a clearly unwell Rob Mills who's voice may have been down 10% but who completely and whole heatedly delivered his ballad that we couldn't help but to be drawn in and captivated by the story that this 10% mattered nothing.
The highlights of the night were when Costanzo sang his own work. It was real, at times raw and in other moments thoroughly entertaining. This young composer has a massive future and I look forward to seeing his work fulfilled on the professional stage in the near future.