Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 18 June 2021
Australia’s own Eddie Perfect has returned home after spending two years working in New York. Introspective is a 70 minute tour through his time working as a composer on Broadway, looking at the highs and the lows, his move back to Melbourne with his family, and time in multiple lockdowns.
Over the years, Eddie has dabbled in many creative fields: Play School, comedy, TV, and musical theatre as a composer and performer. It is in the latter that Eddie has truly started to leave his mark. From the Australian musical Shane Warne The Musical to Beetlejuice The Musical, The Musical, The Musical, his compositional skills have continued to grow from strength to strength.
Introspective strips back the glitz and glamour of a Broadway show. There are no over the top sets, no big orchestrations: it is just Eddie at the piano, and two fine string players – Anita Quayle on Cello, and Xani Kolac on Violin. The three blend beautifully together. The use of violin and cello throughout each piece adds such warmth and colour, and, at times, great rhythmic accompaniment. With Eddie’s excellent compositional skills, you can only assume the string arrangements are also his own work. By stripping back the instrumentation of songs such as Dead Mom (from Beetlejuice The Musical, The Musical, The Musical), it really allowed the audience to hear how witty Eddie’s lyrics are, and how magical his songwriting ability is. The laidback presentation of this show gave the feeling we were in Eddie’s lounge room as he recounted stories from how he struggled through the creative process and performances of King Kong – Alive On Broadway through to the multiple Tony Award nominations for Beetlejuice The Musical, The Musical, The Musical. Each story flowed perfectly into song.
Eddie is a master of storytelling through both his banter with the audience and his lyrics. His relaxed persona instantly connects with the audience, and he is clearly at home behind the piano. We were treated to several pieces cut from the shows he has worked on on Broadway. While it is normal for songs to not make the final score of a musical, it was wonderful to see a sense of pride in Eddie’s conversation around these pieces.
Eddie even gave us a look into a new musical that is currently in the works. The show focuses on the life of Shakespearean actor Edward Lionheart, who has the urge to murder all the critics who review his shows. Death To A Critic delved into the mindset of Edward Lionheart as he unleashed his plan to murder and remove all critics from his life. Eddie did however reassure the reviewers who were there that this song was not aimed at us……much, but more at how ruthless critics can be on Broadway.
There is something magical about seeing a composer perform their own works, especially those that they are very proud of. The cheesy writing side of this reviewer is holding back the need to throw a pun about Eddie’s surname being a reflection of this performance, but it’s hard not to, because it was, well, perfect. Flaws and all, Eddie is a true performer, and it is an honour to see him live in this unique, stripped back way.
Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff
Venue: The Dunstan Playhouse
Season: Friday 18 June at 7.30pm, Saturday 19 June at 9.00pm
Duration: 70 minutes
Tickets: From $54.00
Rating out of 5: 5