Steven Kreamer (said just like Seinfeld’s Kramer) is a musical director and performer based in Sydney. He’s played in musicals from Little Shop of Horrors to more obscure works, and accompanied the likes of Kate Ceberano and Michael Falzon. I Sing Songs at Midsumma is his cabaret debut, and a great opportunity for Melbourne audiences to become acquainted with this talented young performer.
It wasn’t just the floorboards showing a little distress in the depths of 4fortyfivedownstairs on a warm evening. Happily, management have learned from summers past. Some industrial-looking cooling units ensured that fairly quickly the temperature ceased to be a distraction.
I wondered if Kreamer’s recent history in larger venues caused difficulty in adapting to this intimate space. Despite substantial amplification, his voice was often obscured by the piano’s volume. This was an unfortunate impediment to enjoying (as the show’s publicity promised) the amusing lyrics of Kreamer’s original songs. We can only hope that this matter is resolved in future outings.
However, there’s certainly a lot to enjoy in this pick-and-mix. Kreamer doesn’t mind a bit of ribbing, such as towards musical theatre in an original tune. He’s also prepared to acknowledge that his career hasn’t been all glamour, roping in the audience to tell the tale of a somewhat painful gig for the money, not the art.
Numbers from Kreamer’s performing history were given an extended run or new twist, a highlight being the use of an accordion to explore what I Am Sixteen Going On Seventeen from The Sound of Music might sound like if cloaked in Kurt Weill’s shadow. There’s a particular dark comedy as Rolf’s offer to Liesel morphs from patronising to implied threat, showing both Kreamer’s comedic gifts and mastery of style.
It is a Midsumma Festival show, and there’s a well-mannered song to explain how our performer knew that girls were not for him. Midsumma or not, cabaret fans will find this a quality show, and earn the right to tell friends they saw Steven Kreamer before he was big.
There’s also a nice little discount on the double bill of I Sing Songs and Livvy and Pete: The Songs of Olivia Newton-John and Peter Allen which follows in the same venue at 8:30pm.
Steven Kreamer: I Sing Songs
fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Performance: Wednesday 23 January 2019 – 7.00pm
Season continues to 27 January 2019
Information and Bookings: www.fortyfivedownstairs.com or www.midsumma.org.au
Image: Steven Kreamer (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte