The two jazz babies opened the show in spiffy tuxedos with just a touch of sparkly detail. With scraped back hair and full make up they were a sexy pairing of androgynous glamour.
For two shows only they present a fabulous cabaret collection of songs that celebrate gender and sexual diversity in our community. For those who live under a rock it is Prideweek in WA.
Supported by a delightful duo of talented young men recently graduated from the world renowned WAAPA, pianist Gabe Fatin and Alistair Peel on bass and bass guitar. Well known percussionist Michael Perkins lent able support to the younger team. It was a delight to see such an appreciative rapport between the artists.
In a cleverly devised programme, these two outstanding vocalists gave the cabaret treatment to classics from musical theatre, pop, country, disco and the great American songbook. The repertoire skipped from 1920s cabaret, the political 1970s right up until now. Many familiar, but rendered a different style. Who would have guessed that Kylie could sound so subtle and lovely?
Hammer and Bodycoat explored issues surrounding gender inequality and came to the joyful and definite conclusion that “We all have the same right to love and be loved”. The whole show was beautifully crafted, and mention must be made of the musical arrangements by Libby Hammer. It is a passion of hers to craft two songs together, seemingly seamlessly and always with an utterly divine result. This is no mean feat in itself but in the hands of these artists the result is gorgeous.
Wonderful highlight numbers were Ballad of the Sad Young Men, The Man That Got Away given a superlative rendition by Bodycoat, and Is He Gay or European? which had the audience in hysterics. Their rendition of Happy Days are here Again and Come on get Happy originally sung by Judy Garland and a young Barbra Streisand was delicious.
After the interval the ladies returned in drop dead, one shoulder sequin gowns. They opened with a wonderfully witty solo apiece. For Hammer it was the clever tongue twister retort to The Boy from Ipanema. For Bodycoat it was the hilarious Bruce. I believe the fabulously deadpan Blossom Dearie would have given this rendition the tick of approval.
This show is world class entertainment. I happen to know the show will be reprised at 2017 Fringe Festival.
Miss it at your peril!
Over the Rainbow
Libby Hammer & Ali Bodycoat
Venue: The Ellington Jazz Club, Northbridge
Dates: 18 – 19 November 2016