On The Rocks
Directed by Roslyn Johnson
Reload Espresso Bar
9 Chrome Street
Season: October 13, 14.15. Bookings: www.trybooking.com/311157
There’s a lot of talent out in the suburbs and some interesting places for them to perform in. Footlights Theatrical is a group of musical theatre performers, many associated with the Beenleigh Theatre Group and Phoenix Ensemble.
I saw them perform at the Reload Espresso Bar, an interesting venue, which is a former munitions factory and now basically a warehouse with chairs, tables, a bar and kitchen, stuck right in the middle of an industrial estate in the Brisbane suburb of Salisbury.
It is also a big space and it was jam packed on the Friday night (the following night was a sell out) that I went along to see On the Rocks. Oddly, with such a high roofline the acoustics were excellent and there was no problem in hearing the top flight vocals from the eight-person team of singers, nor the music from a terrific band, which was right in the mood with the rock songs from the 1950s through to the 1980s.
The local musical theatre performers were Lauren Lee Innis-Youren, Row Lea Blackshaw, Sophia Dimopoulos, Jermia Turner, William Boyd, Travis Holmes, David Harrison and Scotty Fulton.
The four piece band (Faron Swingler, who was also Musical Director, Aaron Griffiths, Jesse Harris and Jarrod Rehbein) was exceptional – as were the sound levels right through the two-hour session in which they played classic rock tracks like Rock Around the Clock, Splish Splash, Stupid Cupid and a few Elvis songs too including Blue Suede Shoes.
The audience loved them, and greeted the music with rock concert squeals and a bit of dancing in the aisles
This was all the first 45 minute set which covered the originals from the 1950s and 1960s. This had me tapping my feet and singing along to these blasts from a distant past.
The second half went on for close to an hour, as the cast, obviously into the 70s and 80s, sang songs like Hot Summer Night, anthems from Queen and some soul.
The audience revelled in the sounds and the singers knew their material. They delivered some great interpretations with well-rehearsed tunes sung with a mix of solos, duets, quartets, and at times the whole gang. And the harmonies were terrific. The songs were not my favourites but because of the vocal talent on stage the entire night was an enjoyable experience.
This is the third show the group as created but the first I have seen and I look forward to the next one.
They have one show left tonight (Sunday 16th) at 6.30 pm and at $25 a pop for a ticket, It’s well worth a visit.