By Taylor Kendall
Sinatra. Bublé. Connick jr. These are names that are recognized amongst the world of crooners. Another name that is sure be added to the list is Michael Falzon. Sydney born and classically trained, Falzon has had a stellar career already, taking on a myriad of roles within the vast musical theatre repertoire from Gilbert and Sullivan to Ben Elton and Queen. It is his versatility and ability to perform almost any genre that he brings to his performance of Centre Stage as part of the Morning Melodies series at Art Centre Melbourne.
Backed by a nine piece band, Falzon sweeps the audience into his world with a smooth, jazzy arrangement of Frank Wildhorn’s This Is The Moment, capturing the raw emotion that follows the number with every performance. A surprising transition follows into an unexpected rendition of Prince’s Kiss, which Falzon matches with a flirtatious and playful spin wandering through the front row of the audience.
It is clear very early that Falzon is meant to be on stage. Recounting his life growing up as one of six children, with only one record player, how he developed a love of many styles of music, something that has stayed with him throughout his adult life. He thanks his parents for giving him their love of swing music, and it becomes rather apparent that Falzon belongs in front of a big band; a glint in the eye, a grin on his face and the ability to move around the stage with an ease that is rare to find, particularly these days. Falzon pays tribute to the voices of old with his renditions of Feeling Good and Under My Skin, with the beautifully directed band accompanying, perhaps just a little too loud for Falzon’s voice in some songs, though beautiful nonetheless.
Falzon’s vast repertoire expands even further with the inclusion of a Queen classic, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a song that he performed countless nights during his multiple runs as Galileo Figaro in Queen’s We Will Rock You, a role which he originated in Australia, and the first international performance of the show as well as touring around the world.
As promised at the beginning of the show, Falzon delivers a ‘little something for everyone’, no matter what their musical preferences are. Coming off an incredible run in Evita, a stunning performance of On This Night of a Thousand Stars, Look of Love (a lovely duet with special guest Alinta Chidzey) and Send in the Clowns show how truly versatile of a performer Falzon is.
Though his talent is wide, Falzon makes a point to say that he did not attend university for his craft, instead taking roles in shows as understudies and ensemble parts, learning on the job. He credits ‘continuous education’ to his skill set; going out and seeing as many performances, shows and concerts that he possibly can – something that many performers and lovers of the performing arts can attest to.
Wrapping up an incredible one hour show, Falzon pulls out two large, and rather contrasting show stoppers: Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You, complete with standing on the chairs in the audience, proving that perhaps a role as one of the Four Seasons could possibly be suited in the future, and a hauntingly beautiful take on Stars from Les Misérables.
Michael Falzon is a natural performer and entertainer, with his witty, charming and down to earth nature and his incredible talent that keeps audiences engaged and singing along. Exciting things are up ahead, and we cannot wait to see what he is up to next.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.