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Monday 08 November 2010

Review: Songs For Guy

Posted in: Performance
By Andrew Grear - 9th September 2010


It's a sad fact of the gay world that 99% of the music you hear is geared towards heterosexuals. There aren't many songs with girls singing about girls and you almost never hear boys singing about boys.

Songs For Guy then presents a rare and pleasant opportunity to hear music sung by men, for men. Presented in the intimate setting of the Limelight Room at the Aotea Centre it's a sweet, sometimes touching journey through a selection of classic songs that have been re-tooled for the gay audience.

Director Kip Chapman has gone for simplicity over flash letting the singing take centre stage and the song choice hs been kept classic over contemporary. From the romance of Some Enchanted Evening to the campness of Bring On The Men, the humour injected into You're Just In Love (I Wonder Why), to the outright lump-in-throat sweetness of the retooling of the Billy Joel classic into He's Got A Way. There does seem a slight missed opportunity to include one or two more contemporary numbers, but it's a minor gripe when what is on offer has been presented so well.

The performers are all brilliant. Todd Emerson, Andrew Laing and Stephen Butterworth gel nicely together on stage with Paul Barrett accompanying them on piano and joining in on the occasional number. The personal highlight for me goes to Emerson's Run Away With Me, but numbers such as Someone To Watch Over Me which gets the audience singing along and the fantastic interaction between Laing and Butterworth during I Know Him So Well are hard to fault.

What makes the show truly standout though is the collection of anecdotes from gay men from around New Zealand. Each song is introduced by a small anecdote, some amusing, some sad, some happy, and it gives the show a true personal feeling to our community. Chapman stated previously that they wanted to get away from stories around discrimination and the like and focus more on the stories around relationships and it's rather cathartic to listen to these stories with the music alongside.

At just over an hour in length, Songs For Guy is a brief but highly enjoyable musical endeavour. There aren't many opportunities to hear this music performed in this manner and so take this one while you can!

- Andrew Grear

Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 September

Limelight Room, Aotea Centre, Auckland

Click here for information on tickets

Andrew Grear - 9th September 2010

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