“Happy Birthday, Wanda June,” written by Kurt Vonnegut, directed by Cate Clelland, Canberra REP at Theatre, until August 4. Reviewed BY LEN POWER
Queenie van de Zandt got her break in musical theatre at the time when “CityNews” reviewer Bill Stephens was running the School of Arts Café and has gone on to a formidable career as an eccentric comedian, singer and main stage actor.
First up on Wednesday, February 28, will be “Parting the Red Curtains”, impolitely billed as “a show that takes it up the arts”.
Here audiences will get to see van de Zandt in her outrageously over-the-top persona of the tactless “International Musical Therapist”, Jan van de Stool, one of the most successful cult comedy acts in Australia.
Don’t take this too seriously, but her publicists are saying: “Already known as an interpretive dancer, singing psychologist and musical masseuse…Jan now adds ‘Cabaret-Variety-Talk-Comedy-Game-Show Host’ to her extensive ego.”
Then, on Thursday, is “Blue: the songs of Joni Mitchell”, in which van de Zandt shows her more serious side and pulls all the stops out as a chanteuse.
Performing with a band that includes legendary music director Max Lambert, she doesn’t aim to be a lookalike, but rather to present a serious slant on her very favourite singer. In the process she will reveal the stories behind songs like “A Case of You”, “Both Sides now” and “Little Green”. Van de Zandt’s singing voice is not to be missed.
Queenie van de Zandt, at The Q, 8pm, Wednesday, February 28 and Thursday, March 1. Bookings to theq.net.au or 6285 6290.