If you are planning your National Arts Festival diary, you definitely want to take note of the Hungry Minds Productions presented theatre treat, Just a Song and a Dance, written and performed by Dara Beth and Sharyn Seidel-Kometz, and directed by Blythe Linger. It debuted at Alexander Upstairs on 15 June 2017 to much audience applause and praise.
It is billed as “not your average cabaret” and it definitely is anything but average. It looks at Beth and Seidel-Kometz’s mother-daughter performer experiences as the talented singing duo, PlumSong.
The show is endearing in that it gives you a real life, backstage glimpse of a mother and daughter who performs together at events with lots of pizzazz, even when the audience may not always be very interested, have weird song requests, or only arrive halfway through a set, while their own lives, relationships and hilariously quirky banter filters through from off to onstage. As audience, you become privy to a beautiful friendship that forms the backstory to a corset and pearls styled, classy cabaret experience.
This is impressive, as it is not often that you get a cabaret where the vocals and the storyline are equally as entertaining. It is refreshing to see the storyline subtly weave through the show in a humours and highly entertaining manner, while Beth and Seidel-Kometz deliver an amazing jazzy yet modern set-list with attitude and astonishing vocal gymnastics. There is a delicate balance in the show that allows for individual flair to be showcased, while the collaborative character of the show is still respected.
If Lewis Caroll had the pleasure of seeing this show, the perfect description offered would be ‘frabjous’, because it truly is a charming and delightful theatre experience. At the opening night curtain call, the audience was so enthralled they called for encores as if this was a true music performance at an event and not just a make-believe production. The recipe clearly works, and not just because Kathleen Stephens playing their not-so-undercover groupie turned roadie does a killer interpretative dance mid show.
You can’t but smile as you allow the music to sweep you along with the performing duo and their hilarious, light-hearted, beautifully vocalised, antics. Be sure to make Just a Song and a Dance part of your NAF 2017 experience., with performances from 3 to 6 July at the Masonic Front venue.