Dudley Moore: The Man & His Music

ATHENAEUM THEATRE: 'Dudley Moore: The Man & His Music' features Australian pianist Daniel de Borah; opening with Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu, de Borah wowed the audience with his ability to create an ambience which filled every isle.
Dudley Moore: The Man & His Music
Dudley Stuart John Moore (19 April 1935 – 27 March 2002) was an English actor, comedian, composer and gifted musician. Many years before Dudley's fame and fortune were struck up in the big smoke of Hollywood, Moore's musical talent won him a scholarship to Magdalen College, Oxford. While studying music and composition there, he performed with Alan Bennett in the Oxford Revue. Beyond the Fringe, which was written and performed by Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Alan Bennett, and Jonathan Miller, was at the forefront of the 1960’s satire boom and after success in Britain, it transferred to the United States where it was also a hit. His fame as a comedic actor was later heightened by his success in Hollywood movies such as 10 with Bo Derek and Arthur with Liza Minnelli in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Cantor Productions have put together a stylish and extremely enjoyable evening at the Athenaeum Theatre which cannot be clearly defined. Piano, string quintet, jazz ensemble, vocals and spoken narration combine beautifully. This eclectic program’s connecting thread is its high calibre, home-grown talent. The featured performer is Australian pianist Daniel de Borah. Opening with Chopin’s Fantasie Impromptu, de Borah wowed the audience with his ability to create an ambience which filled every isle. The audience was a sea of snow cones, with the odd bohemian seemingly pleased with their last minute theatre decision. Located in the heart of the CBD, the Athenaeum Theatre is situated within one of Melbourne’s oldest cultural institutions, the Melbourne Athenaeum. The Athenaeum was added to the Register of Historic Buildings in 1981 and is listed on the Victorian Heritage Register. With her fixtures fraying and her haunting presence the Athenaeum has been home to some serious theatre in her day. Back in the 1980s, the Melbourne Theatre Company selected her as their home. And today she still plays hostess to the higher-arts with compact and impressive local company Melbourne Opera. The evening was a showcase of music from Dudley Moore’s life, but it was also a showcase Melbourne's rich musical talent and culture. Daniel de Borah is unlike most musicians; he has an ability to take a piece of music and turn it into a dream, literally. Watching, hearing and feeling him play will make you feel as if you are floating above the melodies. It’s a rare gift in a performer, to effortlessly move the audience. The ensemble was right on par with Daniel de Borah’s calibre. Featured vocalist Chantal Mitvalsky was just as charming as she is polished. Her narrations kept the smooth flow moving with hints of humour and snapshots of Dudley Moore’s life. The band was lead by the consummate saxophonist Lachlan Davidson. Consisting of a five piece string section and a four piece rhythm section, this particular ensemble weaved from blues swing to Gershwin with ease. As the show unfolds, you learn just how diverse Dudley Moore’s talents were, but you also feel the music that inspired him to bring down the house on many occasions is being performed by an ensemble that would have shared the same stage as Mr. Moore himself. Truly top notch musicianship. If you are a fan of music in any way, I would urge you not to miss this wonderfully inspiring show. DUDLEY MOORE – THE MAN & HIS MUSIC With one of Australia’s finest pianists - Daniel De Borah who takes you on a journey remembering the true genius of Dudley Moore, along with performances by Graeme Lyall Jazz Ensemble; Susannah Ng Chamber Strings and introducing Chantal Mitvalsky on vocals. 22 to 26 September At: Athenaeum Theatre 188 Collins Street, Melbourne

Jeff Consi

Saturday 25 September, 2010

About the author

Jeff Consi is a reviewer for ArtsHub.