Romeo’s heart… is bleeding. His chest pounds like the empty throb of a septic wound. As he vaguely contemplates the notion that, while his heartbreak is overwhelming and all consuming, it is but a droplet in the torrent of all that is and all that has been… he waits… he doesn’t know what he’s waiting for… he just waits.
Presented at The Butterfly Club as part of the 2016 Melbourne Fringe Festival, the seedy underworld of Tom Waits’ lyrics is transformed into a noir pop-up book. A dark and smoky cabaret, Red Dress & the Sugar Man tells the story of Romeo and Rosie, two likely characters drowning in an ocean of regret.
One need not be familiar with the work or style of Tom Waits to appreciate Red Dress & the Sugar Man, one need only have an inkling of the complexities of heartbreak, passion and inner turmoil and a love of great music, moving words and powerful vocals. If you love Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, Bonnie Raitt or Etta James and don’t mind a walk through the seedy side of town, you’ll love Red Dress & the Sugar Man.
Scripted and performed by singer/songwriter and Waits obsessionado, Marisa Quigley, Red Dress & the Sugar Man is not a Tom Waits ‘Tribute Show’. Rather, it pays homage to Tom Waits and his music, drawing heavily on his inimitable writing style and featuring his songs from the ‘70s until now. Backed by a live band and sumptuous 3-part harmonies, Quigley does not attempt to mimic Waits’ unmistakable gravelly tone but recreates them in a soulful blues/jazz style all of her own.
Marisa was awarded Female Vocalist of the Year at the 2007 Australian Blues Music Awards. She has flirted with Wilbur Wilde and Joe Camilleri; been dissed by Renée Geyer; interviewed by Derek Guille and Richard Stubbs; she has sat opposite Jack Charles on a Melbourne tram and walked down a South Melbourne street next to Geoffrey Rush; Bonnie Raitt once walked past her backstage at a festival. In case you hadn’t realised… she really loves Tom Waits 🙂
Red Dress & the Sugar Man
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season: 20 – 25 September 2016
Information and Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com
Image: Marisa Quigley