The One Night Only Tour | Jason Robert BrownJason Robert Brown has a segment of Melbourne eating out of his hands, going by the size and passion of the crowd for his one Melbourne show. The audience consisted mostly of enthusiastic young students of musical theatre familiar with Brown’s work, filling the house at St Kilda’s National Theatre on a Monday night. It was all pretty gorgeous: we were entertained by a charming and natural showman who is a demon pianist and lyricist par excellence. It was one of those ‘what’s not to like’ shows, satisfying on all levels where you get wonderful singing, the tickling of ivories and the language of showbiz telling stories about feelings and events familiar to all.

Brown opened with All Things In Time – a sweet ballad type song, tender and philosophical. The truth and strength of his lyrics speak out loud to the listener over and over again. The accessibility of this sort of concert is in the narrative, tales of love, loss and loneliness in verse, small journeys accompanied by sublime music, bringing a unique thrill of recognition. Brown is often compared to Sondheim in terms of finesse and sophistication – the songs are truthful and beautiful without ever indulging in sentimentality.

When You Say Vegas, deconstructing the reality behind the image of the city where 'dreams come true', is a treat – the delivery is typical of something you’d hear at Caesar’s Palace yet the song contains bitter truths about the town’s singular culture of fantasy.

Australian chanteuse Rachel Beck accompanies Brown in this performance, delivering poignant heart-stopping lines like ‘I’m covered in scars I did nothing to earn.’ The emotion ran high and deep. Another song (I’m Not Afraid) talks about a mother who won’t cry: ‘She can look at you with tears stuck in her eyes.’ One more thing I can handle comes from a song where a woman deconstructs the offer of a relationship where compromise tips over into dysfunction. Beck's singing was faultless.

Brown delights with little nods to his Jewishness (it’s easy to imagine the Hebrews performing musical theatre back in biblical times) including one song about a boy transplanted from New York City to Appleton, Indiana, (‘the mid-westiest town in the Midwest’), singing of the loneliness of geekdom and wondering who to invite to his Bar Mitzvah when he’s the only Jew in the village.

With Brown you get familiar arrangements and styles creating the whole razzmatazz feel of a night on Broadway, yet the songs avoid cliché, celebrating as they do the human experience of the ordinary person trying to make sense of life. Quite wonderful.


Jason Robert Brown
THE ONE NIGHT ONLY TOUR
With special guest Rachael Beck

Melbourne

Venue: The National Theatre | 20 Carlisle St (cnr Barkly St), St Kilda

Date/Time: Monday 28th February @ 7.30pm

Bookings: Ticketek www.ticketek.com.au | 132 849

Group Bookings: (03) 9299 9030

 

Sydney

Venue: The Parade Theatre | NIDA, 215 Anzac Pde, Kensington

Date/Time: Monday 7th March @ 7.30pm

Bookings: Ticketek www.ticketek.com.au | 132 849

Group Bookings:1300 364 001

 

Perth

Venue: The Octagon Theatre, UWA | 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley

Date/Time: Wednesday 9th March @ 7.30pm

Bookings: BOCS Ticketing www.bocsticketing.com.au | 1800 193 300

Group Bookings: (08) 9321 6831

 

Brisbane

Venue: Qld Conservatorium Theatre | Griffith University, 16 Russell Street, South Bank

Date/Time: Friday 11th March @ 7.30pm

Bookings: Qtix www.qtix.com.au | 136 246

Group Bookings: (07) 3840 7466

 

Adelaide

Venue: The Dunstan Playhouse | Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide

Date/Time: Wednesday 16th March @ 7.30pm

Bookings: BASS Tickets www.bass.net.au | 131 246

Group Bookings: (08) 8204 2220

 

ALSO -

 

Public Masterclasses

Melbourne Tuesday, 1st March

Perth Tuesday 8th March

Brisbane Thursday 10 March

Sydney Sunday 13th March

Adelaide Wednesday 16th March

 

For information regarding Masterclasses with Jason Robert Brown - visit yourmanagement.biz/Coming_Soon.html