BWW Reviews: Adelaide Cabaret Fringe - TEARS ON MY PILLOW: CRY ANOTHER DAY Brought Tears of Laughter
Rachel Rai and Claire McEvoy, aided and abetted by accompanist AaRon Nash at the piano, presented Tears on My Pillow: Cry Another Day, a sequel to their earlier hit show, Tears on My Pillow: Cry Harder, that was presented at the 2013 Adelaide Fringe and completely sold out. This, in turn, was a sequel to Tears on My Pillow, performed at the 2012 Adelaide Fringe. This production was for one night only, and it was no surprise to find that it, too, was completely sold out.
I saw Rai and McEvoy at the beginning of their duo cabaret career, performing at La Boheme, Adelaide's all year around centre of cabaret, and they showed great potential at that time. Since then, they have worked hard and their work now is highly polished and very professional. On this occasion, they performed at The Promethean, a larger venue just a few doors along the street from La Boheme. Their regular accompanist, Nash, does not sit silently, playing the piano, but engages with the other two at times, varying the dynamic briefly and adding a few extra laughs to the performance. For one number, he crosses the stage to play guitar and, although he did not get the chance in this production, he has also been known to sing. Rai also added ukulele to one of her numbers. It seems that everybody around Adelaide plays ukulele nowadays.
As the title implies, this production delves into the sad side of love and relationships, but there was a greater chance of the audience being reduced to tears of laughter, than of sadness. The show began with Nash walking on stage and playing a brief few chords of introduction, but the duo failed to appear to sing. McEvoy eventually entered through the audience, selecting an unsuspecting person to be the object of her song. Rai then came onstage, stepped down into the audience, and selected a victim of her own. The song, of course, was Tears on my Pillow, followed, after introducing themselves, by a 1960s pop song, It's My Party (and I'll Cry if I Want to).
The Judy Garland hit, The Man that Got Away, was next and gave Rai a chance to solo. She and McEvoy both had solos during the evening, allowing them to show their individual abilities, as well as plenty of duets and superb two-part harmony work. The ninety minutes of songs of abject misery, with their tongues often very firmly in their cheeks, was amazingly varied, even including a number mixing works by Beyonce, The Cure and Adele, with The Cure's Boys Don't Cry as the main focus; no mean feat.
A medley of songs associated with Disney princesses was given a right royal send-up, along with some quick changes of comical costumes and wigs. This drew forth plenty of belly laughs, but there was one song up their sleeves that was ready to top the princesses. The Onion Song, a strange piece from Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell from 1969, was an excuse for way over the top 'onion' costumes that brought waves of laughter, which they kept going right through the number.
It was a solidly packed show, with not let up, a great selections and sequence of songs, plenty of visual and spoken comedy, some beautifully delivered songs that were taken seriously, and all with excellent accompaniment from AaRon Nash. Rachel Rai and Claire McEvoy have come a very long way from the first time that I saw them, definitely realising that early potential, and their voices have also developed well in that time. They gave a magnificent performance that left the audience talking amongst themselves for quite a while after and they will certainly have people watching out for their next production.