A re-visit of a Bodycoat-Hammer show from the 90’s proved the material was timeless in its charm.
The program notes said the show would be “Cheesy”. That could be said, but a better description would be “The perfect melt.” Terrific vocals and marvellous instrumentals were in perfect harmony. Clever arrangements, and a delightful sense of fun between the band members, as well as with the extremely appreciative audience.
Dionne Warwick is quoted saying “Happiness is singing a Burt Bacharach song.” There was a wonderful sense of happiness in the room. Packed to the rafters the crowd swayed along to the tunes. Many mouthing the words and often breaking into song sotto voce.
Cleverly, the band introduced brackets of songs with large placards announcing Road Trip, Boy Meets Girl, He Breaks her Heart, Girl is Totes Devo, Boy Spreads Himself Around, etcetera, etcetera, to develop the relationship storyline.
Ali Bodycoat and Libby Hammer told us there would be little time for banter between songs as they had a packed repertoire in store for us. They weren’t kidding! 31 numbers no less!
It was an exceptional evening reminding us of Hal David’s skill and wit as a lyricist underlining Bacharach’s melodies.
Suave in his safari suit and cravat, Rob Pring was in fine voice. His talent was matched by the two Aurelio Costarella clad, luscious ladies, Ali Bodycoat and Libby Hammer. They were ably supported by a dream team of a band comprised of Graham Wood on piano, Joe Southwell on double bass, Michael Perkins on drums, guitarist Harry Winton and the outstanding Ricki Malet on trumpet.
There wasn’t much time for patter but that didn’t preclude the band from hilarious antics as they interpreted the emotions of the songs. Hammer and Malet were particularly amusing as the lovelorn lady and the coolly indifferent, deadpan trumpeter.
It was a wonderful song book of tunes; 99.9% would rate as standards. I could list them but why bother. The rapt audience knew all the words and sang along. The air was thick with sentiment and I mean that in a positive sense.
This tightly meshed show represented a huge investment of programming and rehearsal hours, not to mention talent in spades. The show was part of the Fringe Festival however, it could stand alone professionally as a mainstream event.
There was only one more show in this all too brief season. Unsurprisingly it sold out. But don’t despair. Graham Wood forecasts a return run in the next few of months. Keep your eyes peeled!
A gorgeous funny valentine of a show. Not to be missed!
Mo Productions presents
Bringing Back Bacharach
Venue: The Ellington Jazz Club | 191 Beaufort St , Perth, WA
Dates: 19 – 21 February 2015