BWW Reviews: Rob Mills' First Foray Into Cabaret, ROB MILLS IS 'SURPRISINGLY GOOD' Is That And So Much More.

BWW Reviews:  Rob Mills' First Foray Into Cabaret, ROB MILLS IS 'SURPRISINGLY GOOD' Is That And So Much More.

Wednesday 24th June 2015, 8:30pm, Hayes Theatre, Potts Point

Newcomer to the Cabaret stage, Rob Mills proves that he is just as suited to the intimate genre as the big musical stages and television with his cabaret ROB MILLS IS "SURPRISINGLY GOOD". In an honest and open account of his life, including its ups and downs, successes and scandals, Mills delighted the packed house at Hayes Theatre with over an hour of stories and songs.

Entering through the audience, tuxedo clad Mills joins his 4 piece band on stage with his first high energy number Live In Living Color before candidly asking the question "Is this Cabaret?", opting to relax and drop the suited image in favor of "just telling some stories". This expression of an understanding of the genre in which the show is billed draws the audience, which was already captivated with his entrance, in further, ensuring that they want to go on the journey of discovery he is about to take them.

Blending a careful selection of songs to reflect the various stages in his life from childhood, reality television fame, tabloid fodder, and musical theatre star, Mills shares his story with fresh honesty and self-deprecating humor. The show, written by Mills and Natalie Garonzi, with direction from Tyran Parke and musical direction and arrangements by Andrew Worboys demonstrates that Mills and his creative team have a sound understanding of the need for the performer to have a personal connection to the work they are presenting and also build a connection with the audience.

Mills' passion, soul and emotion are beautifully expressed through his interpretations of the music which ranges from pop to musical theatre, including works he is well known for. It is clear from no only his vocal expression but his body language and even eye contact, demonstrates he understands the music and connects to the lyrics rather than just singing songs for the sake of it. His blending of song and story as he talks about his childhood ambitions has perfect pace and balance. There is light and shade, humor and gravity in the work as he talks about the highlights of his life along with the darker, more painful moments and the events he wishes people would stop asking about, the details of which he does share openly with the wisdom of a 33 year old who realizes that the past is past and that at 21, being thrust into the limelight, you don't necessarily think through the consequences when faced with a famous pretty girl that shows interest. The work also serves to prove that Mills is down to earth and accessible, with self-effacing humility in his own assessment of his ability, particularly with his account of his audition for WICKED.

The journey that he takes the audience on is one of growth and self-discovery as he seeks to determine who he really is now and accept the past personas he took on. There are moments where the audience can directly relate such as having childhood ambitions and feeling like there are times when we are "winging it" in situations where we are surrounded by people with more experience, and also moments, that due to Mills' fame and celebrity status, people remember and want to know the real truth, not just what the media have fed them, all of which serves to connect him to his audience and ensure their support.

ROB MILLS IS "SURPRISINGLY GOOD" is a wonderful cabaret worth seeing for everyone, not just those that are familiar with his previous work. Mills utilizes all the necessary aspects of the genre to share his personal story with energy and passion and prove that he is much more than people generally think he is.

Whilst the Hayes Season of ROB MILLS IS "SURPRISINGLY GOOD" has ended, follow Rob Mills' website http://robmills.net.au for details of future engagements.

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From This Author Jade Kops

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