Entertainment Hive 2017

Phil Scott

By Honey B

Phil Scott is a regular fixture at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and he's back again with his latest show MARIO. The all-round performer/writer/musician has also been involved in the art form for more than 30 years. For the 2014 season Scott has teamed up with South Pacific stand-out performer Blake Bowden to tell the tale of Mario Lanza who was a tenor superstar in Hollywood in the 1950s. Ten years later aged just 38 he was all washed up and mysteriously dying. Read what Phil Scott has to say about this intriguing production, MARIO, below. What is it about the Adelaide Cabaret Festival that you love? "I've performed at the Adelaide Cab Fest many times. It's a great vibe. Everyone is always doing work that excites them and the audiences are hugely supportive and genuinely enthusiastic.'' How would you define cabaret? "Cabaret takes many forms, but for me it is basically the art of communicating directly with your audience. Even if you're playing a character, you always reveal a lot about yourself in cabaret.''  Tell us about your show. "MARIO is about Mario Lanza, an American operatic tenor and movie star in the 1950s. He was extremely famous for a very short time. His story is fascinating. Blake Bowden plays Mario and, as well as accompanying him, I play eight characters, including Louis B. Mayer the head of MGM studios.''     Cabaret seems like such an intimate art form - what scares   you about it and what do you love about it? "I've been doing cabaret shows, solo and with others, for over 30 years. I love the intimacy- it doesn't scare me a bit! I love the freedom you get from creating a show designed for your own particular abilities.''  What is the first production/performance you ever saw and what do you remember about it? "It was a musical in Sydney called Once Upon a Mattress. I don't remember much about it, but I already knew all the songs from the Broadway cast album. I think I was surprised that none of those Broadway actors were in it!''  What is your dream role or the favourite song you love to sing and why? "There's a song in my repertoire called Pack Up Your Sins by Irving Berlin which I always love to perform. I don't sing in MARIO at all, I just play piano and act. And do quick costume changes- that's the hardest part!'' The Adelaide Cabaret Festival puts many wonderful performers together in the one space - who would you love to perform with or see at this year's festival and why? "I have done a few gigs with Paul Capsis and we get on really well, musically and personally. He is a unique performer. I'd certainly like to do more with him.'' Who are your inspirations? "When I was young they were Tom Lehrer, Danny Kaye, Peter Sellers, Bette Midler and Barry Humphries. I admire a lot of actors and singers today but I'm not so easily inspired. I'm a big fan of Blake Bowden, however.''  What song can't you get out of your head at the moment? "There's a silly Italian song that Lanza recorded which is in our show: Cosi Cosa. It actually comes from the Marx Brothers movie A Night at the Opera, so I've known it since I was a kid. Very catchy! It's just a bit of fun, but in our show there is also a subtext - because when Mario sings it he has been poisoned by the Mafia and is about to kick the bucket.'' Phil Scott and Blake Bowden in MARIO, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Festival Theatre Stage, June 14 to 15. Bookings: BASS 131 246
Home Music Film Theatre Comedy Reviews Art Social Win Contact