BUTCH MASTERS:

BUTCH MASTERS:

Man Of Destiny

Man Of Destiny

"Outlandish, Frothy and fun"

"★★★★"

"Naughty, brave and unapologetic... Leaves the audience howling with laughter. A must see."

"Downright brilliant... I urge you not to miss it!"

In the spirit of The Book of Mormon, Little Shop of Horrors and Rock of Ages comes a new musical comedy that promises to deliver the happy ending Midsumma audiences deserve!

Cast from a pool of out-and-proud professional and emerging musical theatre performers (and their female allies!), Butch Masters: Man of Destiny tells the story of Butch, a young straight man born into a gay world with a destiny to challenge the establishment and start a sexual revolution!

Set to an epic original soundtrack (unashamedly influenced by 80’s power ballads and Disney musicals), Butch becomes the leader of the Female Appreciation Guild, taking his faghags on tour and confronting the ruler of the free-fertalisation movement, the maniacal villain(ess) Bea St. Lea.

Of course it wouldn’t be any kind of musical if there wasn’t a love story, an attempted murder, a flash-mob, a sexy chorus-line and a live birth or two… so it’s all there, everything you could possibly want for a night out with the girls.

If you love South Park, or the humour of Amy Schumer, then bring your tissues, because you’ll probably get messy, Butch Masters: Man of Destiny is a fun, edgy comedy musical from celebrated writer/composer Jamie Burgess. Warning this show contains nudity, strong language, skimpy costumes and great songs! You will leave the theatre humming something Butch!

Book, Music & Lyrics: Jamie Burgess

Produced by: Jamie Burgess 

Director: Dirk Hoult  

Choreographer: Jason Teasdale  

Costumes: Polly Filla (Colin McLean)

Lights: Jason Bovaird

Sound: Evan Drill

Featuring: Amanda Buckley, Justin Clausen, Cat Commander, Amy Dyke, Natasha Guzel, Henry Kafoa, Adrian Li Donni, Liam J. O’Byrne, David Peake, Richard Perdriau, Giovanni Piccolo, Laura Raiti, Mitch Ralston, Belinda Hanne Reid, Chanelle Sheehan, Ryan Smedley, Nathan Smith, Antony Steadman, Eden Swan, Candice Sweetman, Erik Thomsen, Isabelle Valette, Cariad Wallace, Natasha York

Butch Masters: Man of Destiny
The Alex Theatre, 135 Fitzroy Street, St. Kilda
Season: 28 January – 6 February 2016


REVIEW: Man In A Chair | Simon Parris

Talented songwriter Jamie Burgess has managed the impressive feat of penning the book, music and lyrics for this new, full-length musical. Burgess also took on musical director duties and laid down the recorded instrumental backing tracks for the performances. The songs are quite enjoyable, and the comedic focus is balanced with the inclusion of a couple of gentler ballads. The book and lyrics are heavy on pop culture references, innuendo and smutty wordplay, scoring plenty of laughs from the opening night audience. Burgess’ book is not as strong as his songs, and perhaps needed the input of a second pair of eyes or dramaturge. The second act deviates from the central storyline before eventually returning to our hero, Butch. The structure of the book, however, is not really all that important for the outlandish, frothy fun that is the aim of the show. The story takes place in a world where everyone is gay. Butch Masters is the odd boy out, growing up heterosexual. Villainous Bea St. Lea strives to kill Butch so that her invention will remain the only way for women to become pregnant. One odd aspect to the storytelling is that for an ostensibly gay-themed show, a very large proportion of the show is spent on heterosexual male-female relations. Also, the fear and disdain the characters have for heterosexuality seem out of line with the current gradual diminishing of homophobia in the real world. Overall, this context seemed more fully explored in 2002 off-Broadway musical Zanna, Don’t!. Director Dirk Hoult keeps energy sky-high, which is great for selling the over-the-top characters. Comedy tends to work better, however, when played straight. The variety of accents is also an odd choice. Choreography by Jason Teasdale is well served by the high-energy vibe. Teasdale has drilled the ensemble cast well, and makes good use of the tight stage space. Jason Bovaird’s colourful lighting design is a solid feature of the production, making abundant use of moving lights in line with the nightclub feel. The lighting is so effective, in fact, that set designer Daniel P Moulds really should not have bothered with the very basic folding panels that are moved into place to make a small contribution to the various settings. Colin McLean’s costumes are a riot of camp colour; nary a square inch of fabric goes without dazzling sequins. Tall, handsome music theatre actor Mitch Ralston is convincing and engaging as confused straight boy Butch. Isabella Valette shines as his equally attractive co-star Pussy Powers. Antony Steadman channels the great Divine in an amusing characterisation as dastardly Bea St. Lea. One of the most experienced actors in the cast, Adrian Li Donni demonstrates his accomplished performance skills in the key featured role of Randy. Justin Clausen impresses with his character Trunch’s big number, “Strong Hard Love.” This is a show to enjoy with some friends after a drink or two to get into the festive Midsumma spirit. Butch Masters: Man of Destiny plays at Alex Theatre St Kilda, Melbourne, until 6 February 2016.


REVIEW: Weekend Notes | Jen

The Alex Theatre was filled to capacity for the world premiere of Butch Masters: Man of Destiny. Introduced by Kiwi songwriter and composer Jamie Burgess, the man who penned the book, music and lyrics and brought this wonderful production to life. Respect! He also introduced a representative of the principal sponsor of the show, Monash IVF. With sperm donation at an all-time low, your help is needed, so individuals and couples can realise their dreams. If you want to find out more about sperm donation or would like to help out and donate, check out Monash IVF's webpage where you can fill out an enquiry form, or phone them on 1800 628 533. Butch Masters is the answer to the prayers of the 3 fag-hags' (Female Appreciation Guild) who want to restore balance to a world that has turned gay. A heterosexual born into a gay world and raised by his adoptive mother Lucretia Smears MD, he's caught kissing Pussy, with whom he's in love. Embarrassed and outed by his best friend Trunch, he runs away to the fag-hags. He manages to stir a revolution among the heterosexuals around the globe due to his popularity. Add to the mix a villain, a murder plot, betrayal, an Asian dominatrix, an Extractula and so much more, and you have a heady mix of fun, mayhem and a colourful musical-cumedy. If you're expecting every moment of this show to make sense, it won't. Don't even try and work out why Butch has an American accent or why one of the characters, Randy has magical powers. There's not enough time to explain everything even though the show is 2.5 hours long, inclusive of an interval. Just sit back, enjoy the ride and be uplifted by this piece of well-produced musical theatre that fulfils what it sets out to do. Entertain. The show has not been compromised by skimping on cast members or production. It's a pretty good out-put, and a whole lot of hard work, no doubt, for a small season. It's colourful, it's fun, it's funny, with a lot of cleverly transparent innuendos, and it's a joy to inhale. Costume choices were fun and perfect for the show, especially the Asian dominatrix. Loved her shoes! The set design was minimal, but the folding panels sufficed on such a small stage with a huge cast dancing and singing their way through the production. Sound had a few teething issues in the beginning, but only for a few minutes, which was a bit distracting, but settled down close enough to perfection for the rest of the show. Lighting is what made my heart sing as it was visually stunning. Kudos to lighting designer Jason Bovaird of Moving Light Productions who enhanced and supported the acting, story-telling and every move of the fun choreography and direction, giving it the impact it required in any given scene. It was definitely more than satisfying. It was downright brilliant. Never a dull moment on stage. The actors were well-schooled by choreographer Jason Teasdale. No one fell down or fell off the stage. As if the magnitude of so much to like was not enough, there were some superb vocals, the fag-hags themselves (Natasha York, Belinda Hanne-Reid and Natasha Guzel) singing some great harmonies. Trunch (Justin Clausen) astounds and surprises with the song 'Cold Hard Love'. It makes you sit up and take notice. I thought Butch's mum Dr. Lucretia Smears (Amanda Buckley) also had outstanding vocals, and you can't really fault the rest of the cast with their singing and dancing or the casting. It was all rather joyous to experience. Saving the best for last, I particularly enjoyed the Asian dominatrix Mitzi (Eden Swan) who fascinated me with her accent, her performance and her portrayal of her underlying desires, controlled, contained, yet occasionally seeping out just a little that sends out a subtle message of the erupting volcano within. Now that's a performance, and she makes you laugh! I urge everyone not to miss it, for to do so, you'd be doing yourself an injustice.