Rom-com cabaret sings of Trump, immigration and romance
By Narelle Wood
It is fair to say that any show that mentions the word “Trump” is probably going to elicit an eye roll or two. While Melissa David’s story might be brought to us by Trump’s immigration mess, this acts merely as a turning point in much larger story, rather than the story itself.
From: New York For: Him details David’s journey from aspiring actress, to girl in love with a married American in Australia feeling a little lost. David does not rely on the clichéd three-act narrative structure for her story, rather the story meanders through highs and lows and back again with such fluency it is hard to gauge where the story will go next, making it as charming as it is heart-wrenching.
Despite David’s clear confidence – she rocks an awesome lace and velvet skin-tight jumpsuit – there are moments of vulnerability as well. David’s rendition of Sara Bareilles’ She used to be mine epitomises both the strength and vulnerability of her performance; I’ve never quite seen anyone manage to move an audience so easily and seamlessly through such a range of emotions.
While there are some familiar musical numbers, such as Whitney Housten’s I have nothing, David also borrows from jazz and other genres to compliment her stories from Broadway auditions, hippy parents to finally making the decision to come to Australia. Accompanying her on the piano is Peppy Smears whose fabulousness does not end with his carefully crafted outfit. He not only provides the music, he is the perfect sidekick delivering additional theatrics and witty repartee that just adds one more thing to love about this show.
Leaving the theatre it was clear that I was not the only one who thoroughly enjoyed the production. Comments from other audience members ranged from complimenting the power of David’s voice, to remarking how quickly the show seemed to finish. From: New York, For: Him might be about immigration problems and love, but it feels like catching up with old friends who are recounting the adventures of the last few years.
From: New York, For: Him runs until 18 August at the Butterfly Club. Tickets can be purchased online and by calling the box office on 03 9663 8107.
Photograph: Junior Deluise