Saccharine satire at its best
By Joana Simmons
She’s smart, she’s sweet and she’s a really talented treat. Jude Perl: Part of This Complete Breakfast is a musical comedy that’s going to be stuck in my memory for all the right reasons. Having won a Green Room Award at MICF in 2015, sold out shows at two consecutive MICFs and has just released an album “Modern Times” with a Grammy-Award winning producer, Jude Perl is delighting audiences all over the shop with her deliciously original truthful songs and candid banter.
Beginning with a song about having 10 seconds to convince us we need this product, it only takes about 30 seconds for me to realise this woman has got something worth listening to. Her rad vocals and clever lyrics make it even easier. From the get go, she opens up her head and lets us into her tasty, colourful and weird world. Through song, voice-over and breaking-down-the-fourth-wall casual conversation about her journey from writing jingles for “Sugar O’s” to making her own album, we see her views on advertising, equality, sexualisation of the music industry, ethics and race, which are current and topical without being in your face. She darts between conversation with music biz agents voice-overs, songs and honest thoughts and theories (“loneliness equals comedy”). The voice-over’s absurd dialogue provides a loose thread throughout. She shows us, not tells us, what it’s like to have dreams, be told to follow them and realise that “following your dreams” isn’t always the best advice; rather it’s a vague message that is dangerously put out into the world for the next cult leader to pick up and follow, much to the detriment of the greater good.
Jude has the almost capacity audience singing back to her when asked and cackling and cheering throughout. Her clever play on irony to helps us realise reality; stark truths, like how having a career as a female popstar means you won’t be judged by your looks and you are able to write songs that have meaning, not ones about watermelons and sadness (right?) The song styles are as varied as a tasting platter where you like every item on it. Accompanying herself on the piano, her voice is bright and soulful, mastering runs, full belt and some gravelly heartfelt quality during her heartbreak ballad. It all comes to a climax when she sings about looking back on who she was, if she was a good person, how we can’t please everyone and sometimes you have to buy a dress that costs $5.99 even though you know “it’s made by a five year old in a five story building with no fire exit.” We are all thinking it, our laughter is genuine and uncomfortable, as we are guilty too. That’s what good artists do. They open up about something in themselves that we have somewhere in us too, and put their special sparkle on it so we can laugh and sigh about it.
It’s not easy to keep a solo show with piano, pop, voice-overs and stand-up seamlessly structured and able to make complete sense at the same time, but when it is, it’s magical. Her voice overs show real characterisation, I could imagine what the character who the voice belonged to looked like, and Jude’s interaction with them made it feel like they were onstage with her. We believed they were there because she did. Her clever creative command of the juicy content was so well delivered I want to see it all over again.
Sunday was her last performance of a killer run. I can’t wait till I have the next opportunity to experience Jude’s perls of wisdom and melodic magic. Look out for her, buy her album, go crazy before her career gets crazy successful. Jude Perl: Part of This Complete Breakfast is authentic, witty and wonderful.
Jude Pearl: Part of This Complete Breakfast was performed at The Butterfly Club, 6th – 11th of September, 2016. For upcoming performances, visit: http://www.judeperl.com/