The ImpoSTAR

December 7th, 2012 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

When I saw Jason Chasland perform with the Beat Girls at Circa, I blogged:

So how do you beat the Beat Girls? Simple – you add in Jason (Jay) Chasland.

Chasland was a rock and roll star.  At first glance you might think he is an unlikely star being not very tall and slightly chubby. But my God he was a great performer. He sang and crooned the songs marvelously, and had a real charisma and presence about him. His Ray Charles parody was side sidesplittingly funny. Chasland alone would be worth going to see.

I got my wish. For 75 minutes last night at Bats Theatre Chasland did a solo show that was terrific.

Chasland has incredible vocal ability. He can sing in the style of pretty much everyone – from Elvis to Julie Andrews to Lady Gaga to Johnny Cash. We saw and heard all those and dozens more last night.

Not only does he sing as them, but he mimics them so well. His facial expressions are priceless, and he dives in and out of his six suitcases on stage to grabs wigs and clothes galore.

The audience was in near non stop laughter and applause, and as the end of the show he got a rare standing ovation. It really is a great show, and a fun night’s entertainment for almost anyone. He performs until 15 December.

While Chasland is the star and solo performer, I must mention also the excellent use of lighting, props and dry ice to create an excellent environment. The show came together so well.

Especially loved the Barbra Streisand act, as he came out in darkness, and at first all you could see was her nose as he started to sing.

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The Beat Girls

July 17th, 2012 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I saw the Beat Girls for the first time in 2010. They were great. So how do you beat the Beat Girls? Simple – you add in Jason (Jay) Chasland.

Chasland was a rock and roll star.  At first glance you might think he is an unlikely star being not very tall and slightly chubby. But my God he was a great performer. He sang and crooned the songs marvelously, and had a real charisma and presence about him. His Ray Charles parody was side sidesplittingly funny. Chasland alone would be worth going to see.

The Beat Girls themselves (Andrea Sanders, Carolyn McLaughlin and Kali Kopae) performed just as well as last time. They have a great combination of singing ability, and facial expressions. You enjoy the music, and laugh out loud at their antics.

The performance is effectively a recital of the life of Phil Spector – from his early genius success through to his conviction for murder. In between numbers, they tell you about his various groups and songs. He may have been a demented misogynistic bastard, but he was a hell of a talented one.

The set was highly effective in its simplicity – dozens and dozens of white paper-lantern lampshades hanging from the ceiling, and three small circular stages they performed from. The costumes fitted the set well, and captured the 60s.

The audience participation in the show was high. Many were laughing every few seconds, and a lot of songs had the audience clapping along. Those seated on the front row were often targeted by the performers, with one woman being pulled onto stage and   well let’s just say it was lots of fun.

They perform a total of 21 songs. There were a few hic-cups, as you often get on opening night, but they were skilled at recovering from them. Kali hit her teeth with the microphone at one stage, and managed to turn it into a gag.

It was a 90 minute performance with a short interval. We stayed around for an hour or so after the show, with the cast mingling with the audience. It was a great night’s entertainment and I just can’t imagine anyone not enjoying the performance, unless they have been genetically modified in some way.

A review by Virginia Kennard at Theatreview is here.

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