REVIEW: Sharing Stories And Songs, PHILIP QUAST: THE ROAD I TOOK Reflects On A Memories That Made Up A Life On Stage


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Monday 20th March 2023, 7:30pm, Ensemble Theatre

Philip Quast returns to the Cabaret stage to share more stories from his 40 plus years on stages around the world with Philip Quast: THE ROAD I TOOK. Following on from his 2021 show, IS THIS ALL THEN? Quast rejoins with pianist and musical director Anne-Maree McDonald to venture north of "The Bridge" for a more intimate night at the Ensemble Theatre.

Philip Quast is easily classified as international musical theatre royalty with his string of awards including three Laurence Olivier Awards for Best Actor in a Musical, three Mo Awards, a Helpmann Award, and two Sydney Theatre Critics Awards along with being appointed a Member of the Order of Australia. His theatrical credits covers musical theatre and drama shows in Australia, the UK including many engagements on London's West End and performing the role of Judge Turpin in the Lincoln Centre concert of SWEENEY TODD. While he claims that his turn as Benjamin Stone in the Royal National Theatre's production of FOLLIES was a perfect note to end his musical theatre career, Quast at least continues to share his wonderful vocal talents through cabaret. He is a master of cabaret and his ability to interpret a song is amongst the best in the industry, making this show not only a wonderful insight into his career but also a masterclass in connecting to the music and telling a story through song.

As with his previous cabaret show, Quast's delightfully self-effacing nature has him sharing wonderful stories from his life and his song selection is presented to serve the stories. He ensures that the songs are presented with a meaning that lifts them beyond the shows they were originally written for. The stage is currently set for Ensemble's mainstage production, RHINESTONE REX AND MISS MONICA, which is set in a living room which matches the tone of the cabaret perfectly as it does feel like Quast has invited the audience in for a intimate engagement of stories and songs, particularly when he offers up the opportunity for questions from the audience.

Quast's stagecraft has him utilize the full space, making use of the armchair that remained on stage, Miss Monica's lounge removed for the cabaret, while a Anne Maree's piano has been added to the 'room'. The addition of a stool and microphone stand add variation to the delivery styles and the doors of the mainstage set are also utilized. Quast's understanding of the artform of cabaret is something many could learn from. He knows the importance of eye contact and being able to see a singer's mouth as he treats the microphone as a tool to be used as and when required, not something to be hidden behind.

Anyone that appreciates a well told story, a song sung with understanding and connection, and a beautiful baritone with warmth and texture needs to secure a ticket to Philip Quast: THE ROAD I TOOK.

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