Tim Draxl sticks around for more

Tim Draxl’s Sydney season has extended due to an enormous demand for tickets.

Tim Draxl’s Sydney season has extended due to an enormous demand for tickets.

Draxl’s cabaret show, Freeway – the Chet Baker Journey, has met with universal critical acclaim and audience praise during its short two week season at the El Rocco café in Kings Cross.

As a result a transfer performance and an extended season at the same venue has been planned. The show will transfer for one performance only to the Cremorne Orpheum on Tuesday, October 12 and will then return to its ‘home”, El Rocco, on October 13, 14 and 15.

“The show has exceeded our wildest expectations,” said producer, Les Solomon.

“I have never seen the venue so crowded and the unprecedented rush for tickets has been quite overwhelming.”

In the ’50s he was called the “James Dean of Jazz”. For good reason. The American jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker looked like an angel and sang and played trumpet with a magical sway over people’s souls.

Taking centre stage in Freeway is Draxl, one of Australia’s most acclaimed cabaret artists and actors who divides his time between Los Angeles and Sydney.  His films include Swimming Upstream, The Shark Net, In My Sleep and Red Canyon. He has performed dramatic roles for Company B Belvoir and Griffin Theatre Company.  Tim also won the prestigious MAC award in New York for his cabaret work in 2001.

Freeway has been devised as a vehicle to further showcase the talents of Draxl, who has long admired Chet Baker.

“It was his rendition of ‘My Funny Valentine’ that first caught my attention and which began my adoration and intrigue 12 years ago,” Draxl said.

“That haunting, melancholic tone of his voice in that song resonated with me at a time in my life when I was not only at the beginning of the unending path of discovering myself as an artist and also who I was as a person.”

Draxl’s collaborator Bryce Hallett, arts writer for the Sydney Morning Herald, is equally drawn to the music and mystique of Chet Baker.

“He looked like a matinee idol and played trumpet by instinct and ear, much to the chagrin of well-established jazz greats at the time, including Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis,” Hallett said. 

“Baker’s hushed renditions of ‘Time After Time’, ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ and ‘There Will Never Be Another You’ are all the more effective for their economy and restraint.  He was a natural storyteller.”

In her review of the show for The Australian, Deborah Jones said, in part: “Draxl pulls right back for a torchy, pillow approach tinged with melancholy, and he has a sophisticated understanding of phrasing and rhythm. Baker’s life story is told in between the songs with elegant economy, although not enough sense of the man’s demons. But the music is sublime, the backing trio brilliant, the lights low, the room tiny and the two slowly turning ceiling fans ruffle the air not one jot. “

is presented in association with Lambert House Enterprises.

Cremorne bookings: www.orpheum.com.au or at the Box Office.

El Rocco bookings: 1300 438 849 www.moshtix.com.au.

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