Tyran Parke in A LIGHT IN THE DARK

The Classic, Auckland

25/05/2013 - 25/05/2013

Production Details


He smoulders, he shimmers, he soars! Last Tapes Theatre Company are proud to bring Tyran Parke’s original one-man, Australia-toured, cabaret combustion A Light In The Dark to New Zealand, offering up the music you know and love for one night only.

Witness Parke’s powerhouse-ness! Revel in his energy! Rubberneck at his dashing, theatrical risk-taking!

Critically acclaimed to the point of histrionics across the ditch, A Light In The Dark pilots an adventure through popular music to tell a funny, impassioned story about disappointment and dreams.

Here are some impressive opinions from some important people:

“Commandingly sung and alternately interesting, funny and touching”, said Cabaret Scenes, New York.

“A terrific actor, a solid dancer, a powerhouse vocalist… an utter aficionado of his genre”, remarked AussieTheatre.com.

“I pray that our young get to see this sort of calibre of construction, performance and heart often enough so that our audiences of tomorrow may be secure. Next time he does this show, pillage to get a seat!” proclaimed Broadway At Bedtime.

So, do you know Tyran Parke? While he’s definitely an Aussie (we’ve checked) – and he’s a pretty big deal over there to boot – he’s had his share of NZ limelight over the last few years. You may have seen him in Evita, Sweeney Todd, Anything Goes, and Cabaret.

We here at Last Tapes Theatre Company are tickled pink to have him back with us again after his starring role in our debut production The Last Five Years in 2012.

Tyran’s produced (Into the Woods in Concert; Raise the Roof), he’s directed (Metro Street; Assassins; Jekyll and Hyde) and he ran Sydney’s premiere cabaret venue (Statement Cabaret) for three years.

What is cabaret, you ask, uninitiated reader? TYRAN IS.

What’s more, it’s fair to say that A Light in the Dark will be the best cabaret show you’ll ever see at The Classic.

A Light In The Dark 
Saturday 25 May, 8pm 
The Classic, 321 Queen Street, CBD 
Tickets $30 available at www.eventfinda.co.nz  

Sensationally good cabaret

Review by Jan-Maree Franicevic 26th May 2013

I will start by saying that I like musicals. I grew up with musicals, my mother is a big fan; Oliver, The Pirates of Penzance, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Chess, Chicago, and her absolute favourite: West Side Story. Mum would turn the volume up as loud as it could go while the three of us danced and sang around the living room.  As a result I have my own favourite musicals and a firm appreciation for the genre. I am looking forward to this show!

Though I am not ‘up’ on the play when it comes to Tyran Parke, the impression I get from the noisy capacity crowd is that there are plenty of people who know exactly who Tyran Parke is. Which is exciting to me. I love the build up to a show when I can almost take a bite of the electricity in the room.

Here we are, an ebullient bunch who have braved some of the worst driving weather of this odd autumn. As such everyone takes a while to get their seats and settle so the show goes up fifteen minutes late, any tarry over that disappears as soon as I hear this man’s incredible voice pouring out the sweet opening lines of ‘Something’s Coming’ from the Song Cycle Brick Walls and Waterfalls by Christopher Harley. He isn’t even on stage yet I am captured by the power of his voice. I get a stab of excitement, all of a sudden I can’t wait to see the rest of this show. 

He is quick to tell us he loves musical theatre; he ‘came out’ as a musical theatre fan during Sydney’s Musical Theatre Festival last year. I have to laugh as he bluntly says, “In the entertainment industry it is pretty cool to hate musical theatre.”

I think it is his genuine love of it that gives him such a talent for it. So why the heck not chart his memoirs with a collection of fabulous show tunes that make his already very touching personal stories even richer. This show is certainly not a collection of songs thrown together, this show proves that music is the most universally valid form of social and cultural expression.

I have to wonder if he has jumped the gun on himself writing a memoir show, given he is still in his very early thirties. My mind is changed by the living this man has done for his years. He has been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things.

A Light In The Dark is a beautiful memoir of Tyran’s life charting his journey from rural Newcastle Australia. We meet him as the young boy losing his mothe; as a thirteen year old watching Les Miserables. We share his letter exchanges with leading lady (Kiwi) Delia Hannah; we follow on with him to train in Perth and on further into his professional career as a musician, singer and actor, sharing the highs and lows of life on stage.

Here is this talented man pouring out his very heart to us in speech and in song. This is a genuinely sweet, heartfelt, funny show. 

Tyran points out that he knows a few of the faces in the crowd tonight and on more than one occasion his audience bantering brings warm laughter rippling through the room. His song choice and singing is exemplary, each of the twelve songs on the playlist wraps around the fine silks of his life stories and is delivered with the right amount of lightness and shade to bring this hardened Hamiltonian to tears more than once.

His good humour also helps him immensely with the technical snags (the microphone stand comes apart, the operator misses a couple of lighting cues) then I get the feeling nothing could stop this man sharing this show with us tonight.

As the show draws to a close I reflect: Tyran Parke is an exceptional story teller with the gift of humility and boy can he sing. So what of his planned encore? I have to ask myself, “How does he top this?”

The house goes wild as, after much thanks and praise to his team in New Zealand (and yes, he loves it here!), he introduces ‘Seeing is Believing’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love (you know, the one where the young man develops intense feelings for the leading lady in a musical? Yeah, that one.) Which also happens to be my favourite Lloyd Webber musical.

As if that’s not enough he then brings to the stage the very leading lady who has been a massive inspiration over his entire career, Delia Hannah (who incidentally became a Broadway star playing the leading lady in Aspects of Love). Their voices sound made for each other as they beam out at us, every bit of them the stars in the room. It is beautiful to watch. As for the rapturous round of applause as they close, I doubt anyone was not clapping their loudest in appreciation.   

Sensationally good cabaret, Tyran Parke is a genius!


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