Phil Scott crawls onto the stage as a shipwrecked sailor might crawl onto a beach looking around in awe saying, ‘I Survived’.
Only, Scott is wearing aviator glasses, a beanie and camouflage pants looking more like he survived another night on the turps.
2013 marks the 30th anniversary of Scott’s Cabaret career and he celebrates the occasion with this show: Cabaret Survivor.
Scott begins with an almost schizophrenically manic medley of well-worn cabaret tunes before beginning an anecdotal story about his beginnings in Sydney clubs then playing a song he wrote (‘I Don’t Do No Requests’) to the tune of Edith Piaf’s ‘Je Ne Regrette Rien’.
The tone of his show was thus set, and he regaled the crowd with stories of highs and lows from his long career while playing some great barrel-house piano along the way.
His tales of meeting Bette Midler, performing with Bea Arthur (of TV’s Golden Girls fame), writing a song about Peter Allen (and performing it with a hilarious cross-eyed sincerity) were entertaining with a number of the crowd hanging on his every word. Despite the fact that his stories meandered at times and the overall show had a ‘throw away’ feel, many audience members spent the entire 70 minutes in a state of absolute bliss.
Scott ended with epigram “Don’t throw your past away because you can use it in Cabaret”. Which is exactly what he did.