“The Windows Project” featured compositions by many of the most talented composers of Australian musical theatre and cabaret including Phil Scott, Eddie Perfect and Matthew Robinson, although I’m not exactly sure which came first… the musical or the songs.
All of the songs contain a reference here and there to windows or glass, with recurrent themes of seeing reflections, looking at people from a distance and breaking glass as a metaphor.
Some of the best songs were the comical ones. “www.alicia.com” by Matthew Frank and Dean Bryant was about an online relationship with the classic phrase “smiley face” the unexpected and hilarious rhyme. “My Best Friend” by Peter J. Casey and Carissa Campbell was about a young man’s lifelong love affair with the television. On a more touching note, “Choosing Windows” by Phil Scott and Tony Sheldon took us back to primary school memories of the TV show “Play School” and “Stained Glass” by Nicholas Richards concluded that stained glass windows weren’t as good as real ones, and that although attractive, it was what was on the other side of the window that really mattered. You get the idea…
With the exception of one or two songs which I thought were unnecessarily complex (Colin says it’s often a problem with younger performers and writers that they want to show off) all of the songs were melodic, literate, and mostly well performed.
I though Nick Simpson-Deeks especially good, as he sang with both passion and precision. The other perforers – Lisa adam, Margi de Ferranti, Benjamin Lewis, Sharon Millerchip and Shaun Rennie – were also very good, especially when they sang in unison.
At the end of the day, however, nothing really moved me in this performance. I thought there were some good moments, some even slightly touching moments, but I wasn’t really moved.
However I think it was really good to go along to see this show at Darlinghurst Theatre. After a few years of extreme popularity, Australian musical theatre and cabaret is at a low ebb at the moment, with many of the jobs drying up. Recently, while attending a show, a young performer told Colin and I that after six years of almost continuous work, he was now contemplating “getting a bar job”. After the heady years of “Mamma Mia” and all of those other pop musicals, perhaps we’ll see a return to the old days with the Broadway traditions once again dominating?