New Ballroom, Trades Hall Thursday, 19th January, 2006 Tagline: It's a comfy bloody country! Having been in high school during the Keating years, I still remember the events quite well (I was on a school trip to Canberra in year 9 at the time of Keating's first challenge), so I was really looking forward to this show especially since I missed it at the Comedy Festival last year. Since then the show has played a sold out season at the Sydney Opera house to an audience that even included the subject of the musical and his family. It has also gotten rave reviews from the broadsheets and recently featured in the major daily tabloid in Melbourne, the Herald Sun. The story begins in 1990 around the time Hawke had agreed to step aside for Keating as per the Kirribilli agreement. Bob Hawke's (Casey Bennetto's) opening number was really great and he would also make a great subject for a musical (although it would have a lot more drinking songs and Cold Chisel.) In contrast to Bob's casual appearance in a bathrobe, Keating's (Mike McLeish) entrance was a lot more stylish and even involved a dance with a hat and cane. He certainly does move around a lot during the show, which would have been difficult while wearing such a good looking suit. The rest of the show follows the trials and tribulations of the years of Keating as prime minister up to his defeat at the 1996 election. Several other characters also make an appearance including Dr John Hewson, Alexander Downer (in a Frank'n'Furter get up), John Howard, Gareth Evans and Cheryl Kernot. Special mention must go to John Howard's eyebrows as it really doesn't take much to at least resemble him. I thought the backing band was great as they virtually didn't stop from even before the show started (sitting down music), through all the musical numbers and then the finale. This season will be running for two shows a night until the 28th of January 2006. I recommend you book as soon as possible as the rest of the shows will sell out pretty quickly once more people start getting interested (might be best to skip this coming Sunday as it will be 41 degrees C (102F) though, the cast will need a kiddie wading pool out the back between shows.) Hopefully there will also be a return season at the comedy festival at a larger venue. ==== I also bought the cast recording after the show (only available on the door) Keating! recorded at the Sydney Opera House 1. Overture 2. My right-hand man 3. Do it in style 4. I remember Kirribilli 5. It's time 6. Ruler of the Land 7. Dogs of damnation 8. On the Floor 9. I wanna do you slowly 10. Antony Green 11. Freaky 12. Heavens, Mister Evans 13. Power 14. Choose me 15. The light on the hill Even though the front of the CD says "country soul opera", there are a lot of different styles of music here from rap to rock and even reggae and a Rick James style number. I haven't heard many cast recordings so I don't have much to compare it to. Although it helps if you have actually seen the show, for the most part you can follow what is going on (only a couple of the jokes were visual.) No I can't make a copy of this one, if you ask Casey nicely he may be able to send you one.
Created on ... December 30, 2006