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BWW REVIEW: Christmas Comes To Paddington RSL With Snow, Sequins And Lots of Laughs in Trevor Ashley's RING THEM BELLS! A VERY LIZA XMAS


BWW REVIEW: Christmas Comes To Paddington RSL With Snow, Sequins And Lots of Laughs in Trevor Ashley's RING THEM BELLS! A VERY LIZA XMAS

Sunday 29th November 2020, 7pm, Paddington RSL

Powerhouse of Australian Cabaret, Drag and Musical Theatre, Trevor Ashley dons the short black wig and comfortable sequins again to bring back his most famous impersonation for RING THEM BELLS! A VERY LIZA XMAS. Christmas classics, crowd favorites and a few newer pieces are intertwined with trademark wit and 'anecdotes' to treat audiences longing for a good dose of live performance to lighten the end to an 'interesting' year.

Along with his musical theatre and parody pantomime work, Trevor Ashley is well known for his live music drag performances with his most famous cabaret shows potentially being LIZA (ON AN E) and LIZA'S BACK! (IS BROKEN), both of which he took to London and the latter also opening in New York in 2019. It is therefore fitting that he has chosen his homage to Ms Minnelli as the form that he returns to the post covid-19 lockdown stage in. Ashley has Ms Minnelli's moves down pat and the speech patterns are brilliant both in song and storytelling and there are definitely a few anecdotes thrown in, from growing up with Liza's famous mother and father, to the untold family history and stories from the heady days at Studio 54. There are stories of lockdown and a liberal dose of name dropping, including questioning the cause of why she was absent from the Sondheim birthday zoom concert, including a cracker of an interpretation of the song she was supposed to sing.

Supported by musical director Andy Davies' seven-piece band the diva's well-known hits, along with seasonal songs, musical theatre standards and some contemporary pop pieces are given the Liza treatment in both accent and attitude. The interpretation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Memory definitely throws shade on the Australian pop princess that took it on for the CATS tour and, with a jazzed-up tempo and Ashley's fabulous phrasing, is potentially the best expression of the work heard to date. The guest appearance from Adam Rennie adds a sophistication to the evening with a playful duet with Ashley's Liza and his solo rendition of O Holy Night proves that if David Hobson were ever unable to fulfil his regular Carols by Candlelight obligations, there is a bright young tenor ready to fill his shoes.

It is always a special treat to see any of Trevor Ashley's creations and this is no exception. RING THEM BELLS: A VERY LIZA XMAS will have you laughing, clapping and dancing in your seat (no real dancing for the audience due to COVID-19 restrictions. Secure your tickets before they sell out.

Sydney: Paddington RSL

29 November, 6, 13, 16 and 17 December


19 December

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From This Author Jade Kops