Saturday, 27 October 2012

RocKwiz, and no one likes a smart-arse

Had the best night-out ever last night, onstage as a RocKwiz contestant.

Off to see RocKwiz live at the Riverside Theater, Perth Convention Centre. Nasty architectural blot on the landscape, but nice theatre

 Started the night with no thoughts whatsoever of even trying out for a spot as a contestant, but a string of random circumstances conspired otherwise. I almost suddenly found myself and two dozen others on stage trying to be one of the final four who would make up the show proper.

Brian Nankervis eventually announces the four contestants, and blow-me-down, I'm one of them. Was it my rusty rendition of "Lola"?

Off backstage for some introductions and nerve-settling small-chat amongst the four of us, meeting the truly delightful Julia Zemiro, saying hi as the orchestra members wandered back and forth, and meeting Dugald of course. Smiles and a warm hello from Vika and Linda Bull, a casual g'day from Joe Camilleri who is pacing backstage with one of his highly decorated saxes attached. Stage manager explaining the routine and protocols (my absolute favourite: "if you find yourself on a bit of a roll answering 2 or 3 questions in a row, back off for a while, no one likes a smart-arse". Now there's an idea for a great t-shirt . . . ), and explaining stage seating arrangements.

And then we're onstage. I'm teamed up with a lovely young lady, Tory, and we take up our seats in front of a huge audience we're trying to imagine isn't actually there . . . . looking . . . . listening . . . answering questions we can't . . .

A bit of light-hearted banter about some Gandalf look-alike in the panel. Then "Who can it be now?" . . . "born in the US in 1953, came to Australia to star in the hippy musical--" and I watch in horror as my hand presses the buzzer and interrupts the question . . .

"Female?" I query.

"Maybe" says Julia.

"Marcia?" I offer.

"A surname perhaps?" responds Julia.

"Marcia Hines" I suggest . . .

. . . and bingo, Marcia Hines takes over the stage and theatre singing "there's something very special about YOU".

Song ends, and Marcia Hines, THE Marcia Hines, sits next to me, handshake and kiss on the cheek, "hello, how are you?" . . .

Halfway through the show Marcia left and Bob Evans (aka Kevin Mitchell of Jebediah) joined our panel. Very cool, nice bloke, but . . . Marcia Hines! . . . THE Marcia Hines . . .

Panel-mate Tory does a brilliant rendition of "I'm A Believer", another panel member (sorry mate, name escapes me at the moment) belts out "Howzat".

Russell Morris comes on stage and gives us "The Real Thing" then sits across the stage with the other panel, giving Joe Camilleri a break . . . Russell Morris!

More questions, buzzers and lights flashing, more music, the show just charges along without missing a beat. Julia and Brian and the orchestra and Dugald and guests (did I mention Marcia Hines? The Bull Sisters? Russell Morris? Joe Camilleri? Bob Evans? . . . oh . . . )

Joe and Marcia return and give us the eternal Janis Joplin classic "Piece of My Heart".

Finale, everyone on stage giving last bow to the audience . . . then it's over. Backstage for photos, goodbye kisses and hugs, thankyous.

Thank you RocKwiz team . . .yet another show for you all, but for those of us plucked off the street to join you for a short while, the best night-out ever. . . . and not a smart-arse to be found.


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