Having been to a number of 60’s themed musical cabarets it was a surprise to encounter one with a story line as well as a huge line up of songs.
The audience were introduced to Peggy Sue (Caitlin Beresford-Ord), Mary Jane (Sharon Wisniewski) and Just Betty (Clare Moore) - three parodies of 60’s single girls in Dusty Springfield mauve wigs and be-fringed minis. The first two are obsessed with “How To Get A Man”. Bookish Betty, endearingly skinny, complete with nerdish spectacles is oblivious to the subject but ironically seemed to have the most subsequent success (often with frightening results as she gradually revealed violent tendencies!). This theme launched the show into the most amazing line up of 60’s songs. I think I counted 18 or more over the two acts! I wish I could list them (too many), but all so familiar a large part of the audience sang along sotto voce!
The purposely flimsy, tongue in cheek tale lead us though the vicissitudes of man-hunting, love found, love lost, best friend deception, revenge, marriage, infidelity, disillusionment and finally self-respect. Phew!
The girls themselves are delightfully drawn pastiches and play their characters to the hilt. As an ensemble their voices were wonderful and their comic timing was excellent. In all the songs the trio displayed delightful and true harmonies. Often two of the artists harmonized supporting the lead singer, accompanied by hilarious actions; two being mime and the use of hand puppets. It sounds kitch. It was meant to be!
Each artist an excellent voice and individually displayed great vocal range. The well-executed period choreography was also a treat. They worked the delighted capacity audience brilliantly, occasionally decending from the stage to woo men and attempt to evict attractive female audience members.
Director Mark Storen deserves plaudits for his direction and many adroit touches. It was a cleverly put together show. Not the least of which ploys involved the entire audience getting to their feet to lustily join in the encore number, “Da Doo Ron Ron” complete with hand movements! The show has already travelled to the Eastern States for performances and I can’t see it short of bookings in the future.
The Cover Girls & Deckchair Theatre present
Rhapsody in Red
by Caitlin Beresford-Ord
Part of the 2010 Fremantle Festival
Directed by Mark Storen
Venue: Victoria Hall | 179 High St, Fremantle
Date/Time: Saturday November 13 @ 8.00pm
Bookings: www.deckchairtheatre.com.au | 1300314151