Paul Capsis really is a king. He is a king of entertainment, of sultry vocals full of power and emotion, and king of versatility. Accompanied by an excellent jazz trio, Capsis brought his one man show Make Me A King to His Majesty’s Theatre as part of the Cabaret and Comedy Festival.
Capsis didn't speak much during the 80 minute performance. It was all about the songs, primarily from his latest album Make Me A King. From blues to hard rock to musicals, the song choices were varied and showcased Capsis’ extraordinary talent.
Capsis has a unique voice, capable of floating across multiple octaves, growling one minute, pure and angelic the next. He is well respected for his reinterpretations, or "channeling" (as he calls it) of famous singing divas. Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Dinah Washington, Nina Simone, he can recreate them all to a brilliant, eerily perfect effect.
The small but enthusiastic audience was treated to songs by Garbage, REM, Janis Joplin and Billie Holiday, amongst others. A personal favorite was Nina Simone’s Feeling Good which he performed to perfection.
Angela’s Sea, an original song by Capsis about his grandmother’s boat journey to Australia was a moving piece. It spoke of a beautiful story of love and devotion, and the drama of a six week sea crossing. Capsis hopes to bring the associated one man show (Angela’s Kitchen) to Perth next year.
The musicians have been touring with Capsis for a while and it shows in their tight ensemble work. Consisting of Toby Hall on Percussion, Lloyd Swanton on Bass and Alister Spence on Piano and as Musical Director, it was evident that they work well together and they know the music inside out.
Above all, the musicians were having fun. It showed in their faces and you could hear it in the sound. I was able to examine the bass playing from my seat and it was phenomenal. The musical arrangements by Spence were spot on, and congratulations to the sound technician for the excellent sound quality and mixing.
Capsis is a real performer, and knows how to woo an audience with his moves, his spoken word but primarily his powerhouse singing voice. He wooed Perth, and myself, and I can’t wait to see him perform again.
Cabaret and Comedy Carnivale 2011
MAKE ME A KING
Venue: His Majesty's Theatre | 825 Hay Street Perth
Date/Time: 7:30pm, 13 June, 2011