Piano-playing punch and pizzazz
By Christine Moffat
Amy Abler – the woman who can play the piano with every part of her body!
While this statement is titillating (and true!), it does not do justice to Amy Abler’s talent or sense of fun. The audience entered the theatre, and Abler was already on stage playing. Explaining she’d hired herself as the pre-show performer, she began chatting with the crowd. Once we were all in, and ready to go, Abler discovered we were unprepared – no feathers! It’s true, not one of us had thought to bring along a big, fluffy feather. Luckily the Piano-Diva had spares.
This piano-confessional style show is old school, and ironically this makes for a refreshing change. Abler is an accomplished pianist, and plays any style of music from classical to blues with passion and panache. She reveals that for the better part of the last twelve years she has been a headline act on various cruise ships. Happily, in the lovely intimate cabaret venue The Butterfly Club, not a hint of big-ship dinner theatre peeked through.
Abler’s stories are sometimes funny, sometimes sad, always interesting. Her piano playing is faultless, and more importantly, got the whole audience bobbing and swaying and subconsciously ‘emoting’ with their feathers. This is a seasoned entertainer who has not forgotten how to entertain.
Abler is based in Chicago, but when this show (hopefully) returns to Melbourne, head along for a slice of truly universal fun. Her audience rapport is wonderful, and the show’s retro style fits like a comfy (albeit heavily sequinned) shoe. Lovely.
Wednesday 20th March 2013
The Butterfly Club
Carson Place (just off Little Collins Street in the Melbourne CBD)