Richard Carpenter is Close to You

TBC Matthew Floyd Jones - Richard Carpenter is Close to You AAR

After seasons at the Edinburgh Fringe and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Matthew Floyd Jones has brought his smash-hit cabaret comedy, Richard Carpenter is Close to You to The Butterfly Club until 16 June 2018.

In the 1970s, The Carpenters – brother and sister Richard and Karen Carpenter – were one of the best-selling musical acts of all time. Richard was a multi-talented musician, composer, arranger, orchestrator, producer and engineer – the only thing he didn’t get to do was sing lead as Karen’s voice was increasingly in the spotlight. Nowadays, Richard Carpenter is Close to You sees our hero back on the circuit, and solitaire really is the only game in town.

In the 2010s, Frisky and Mannish – the musical duo comprised of Floyd Jones and Laura Corcoran – became the most popular seriocomic-mashparodic-bapsbotty-infotainment duo the Edinburgh Fringe had ever seen. Richard Carpenter is Close to You is the first show specifically about Richard (as opposed to Carpenters in general or Karen). This is a piece that’s been crying out to be created … but only by Mannish.

In this unauthorised tribute, Richard Carpenter is painfully aware of what it is to be in a sibling’s shadow, even 35 years after sister Karen’s death.  What can he do to be an artist in his own right when he feels a prisoner of the past?

Regular AAR reviewer Jason Whyte attended the Thursday 14 June show as a punter and felt compelled to make comment:

“How to parody songs by The Carpenters when copyright means you can’t use very many of the words that go with the tunes? Floyd Jones handles the question ingeniously through his very amusing lyrical substitutions. The show balances the frustration and sadness of the talented-yet-obscure Richard with some laughter at his excesses and desperation to be noticed.”

“Some familiarity with The Carpenters’ back catalogue will help in appreciating the parody. Regardless, the show is a skillful performance of enduring pop songs and character comedy, and one of the best shows I’ve seen for a while.”

“Melburnians who couldn’t get across to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival this year, you’re lucky that this quality show has come to you. Take heart Richard – with this show, Melbourne, just like me, will long to be Close to You.”

Richard Carpenter is Close to You
The Butterfly Club, 5 Carson Place, Melbourne
Season continues to 16 June 2018
Information and Bookings: www.thebutterflyclub.com

Image: Matthew Floyd Jones stars in Richard Carpenter is Close to You (supplied)

Words: Jason Whyte

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