By George Dixon
Everyone has their story, and each story is important. But when you have a unique natural musical gift of the calibre of Dale Burridge, the story is worth telling and listening to.
Burridge presents a one-person cabaret-style concert in two parts of fifty minutes each, with a twenty-minute interval.
I found him utterly captivating as a storyteller and an amazingly talented and versatile solid tenor. The fifty minutes melts away as you are transformed from one musical stage to another. The interval allows you time to refresh in anticipation for part two.
Burridge is supported by his Musical Director and friend, Bev Kennedy, on Piano. Kennedy’s credits and support reads like a Who’s Who of live theatre.
Also on stage, playing his Double Base for the first time in this concert, was Nathan Post. Post is well-credentialed, with over 20 years of professional live music experience.
Together they produce a total depth of sound that boosts Burridge’s voice and transforms you to the musical stage of that particular number.
The concert is written by Martin Crews and Dale Burridge, who have known each other for many years.
The writing is raw and honest, with a fascinating balance of depth, information, and emotional description without dwelling on the lows and balancing the heights; at times, the dialogue is expressed as a matter of fact. At the same time, the song choice provides the emotional challenges and expression that only memorable songs can do.
With the Direction of Martin Crews, we benefit from the collaboration of a writer, director and friend who has experienced most of the events of Burridge’s story. The sensitivity of the story, its timing, and songs, along with staging and lighting, extends the audience’s experience. The occasional emotional expressions deliver authenticity as certain aspects are re-lived.
The audience travels from Burridge’s schoolchild days to this concert. It is a story that reminds us of how far we have travelled. When back in the day, if you were at school, vocally talented, and in a way that is different, you became a target for verbal and physical abuse, to the dizzy heights of being part of the high-flying trio starting in the inaugural extremely successful production of Phantom of The Opera as Raoul.
One of the exciting thoughts is when you realise that performers are also people; as such, when the unexpected happens, they feel it like anyone.
The opening scene of the second part paints a picture of what this show is all about. The stage is black and bare, except for a microphone on a stand; it is spotlighted from above. The music starts playing the introduction to Phantom. In the shadows stands Dale Burridge. At the right time, Burridge steps out of the shadows and into the spotlighted microphone and begins singing.
The critical elements; The open stage. The spotlight. The voice. All point to the saying, “It’s never too late to Start Again,” which is the inspiring message supported and demonstrated through Burridge’s stage presence. His voice, which has further developed, the increased depth that seems to come from the maturity of life’s experiences.
It is such a privilege to experience the missed talents of Dale Burridge.