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Love and Death and an American Guitar – Hayes Theatre Co

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by rujihw (subscribe)
Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans - John Lennon
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I invited my friend along to a cabaret starring Toby Francis, Andrew Worboys and Noni McCallum. It was our first time watching a cabaret at the Hayes Theatre Co in Potts Point.

The theatre is quite small and can probably only seat up to a hundred people, but it is this cosy and intimate setting that made the whole experience much more personal. On the small stage stood only a grand piano, a mic stand and some loudspeakers.

Love and Death and an American Guitar cleverly depicted key events in the professional life of Jim Steinman. It is not at all surprising if you haven't heard of Steinman. Despite being the composer behind the hit rock album Bat Out of Hell in the late 1970s, Steinman never quite made a household name like his counterpart singer, Meat Loaf (a.k.a. Michael Lee Aday).

This formed the theme of the cabaret as Francis re-enacted Steinman's struggles for the lack of recognition and fame. Francis also told the story of Neverland, a rock opera based on Peter Pan that Steinman attempted to create but did not finish due to lack of financial support. Neverland was instrumental to the birth of Bat Out of Hell as the songs later formed the basis of the iconic album.

The cabaret featured songs such as Total Eclipse of The Heart, It's All Coming Back to Me Now, You Took The Words Right Out of My Mouth, and Making Love Out of Nothing at All. Francis showcased his superb singing talent and surprised his audience with hitting difficult high notes, thus exhibiting his incredible voice range. Worboys, who was jamming by the piano, provided music accompaniment that brought the energy level in the crowd to a peak. McCallum, whose voluminous hair immediately reminded us of Bonnie Tyler, packed a punch in her voice and consistently wowed the audience with her powerful vocal.

All in all, the trio's performance was nothing less than exceptional. It was an evening filled with candid humour, a great story and the all-too-familiar songs. Most importantly, it was a 60-minute tribute to the legendary Jim Steinman and his contribution to the music industry.

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*rujihw was invited as a guest
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When: Dates and Times: Sunday, 24 August, Sunday 31 August and Sunday 7 September at 8pm
Where: Hayes Theatre Co, 19 Greenknowe Ave Potts Point
Cost: Tickets: $35 adult / $30 concession
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