The World Goes 'Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb. Directed by Jarrad West. Music director: Alex Unikowski. Choreography: Caitlin Schlig. May 16-Jun 1. Canberra Repertory Society. Theatre 3. canberrarep.org.au or 62571950.
Whether or not you're familiar with the names John Kander and Fred Ebb, you'll know their work. The songwriting duo wrote the scores for the musicals Cabaret and Chicago. and Theme from New York, New York, among many other songs for shows and movies.
Canberra Repertory Society is presenting the retrospective The World Goes 'Round: The Songs of Kander and Ebb, with Louiza Blomfield, Isaac Gordon, Joel Hutchins, Samantha Marceddo and Julia Walker.
Gordon says the plot is that "we are five people all connected in some way, shape or form".
"It's us reflecting on moments in time and how we came to be where we are," he says.
The score, he says, is "a series of classics" - there are well-known songs like Mr Cellophane from Chicago,which Gordon will be performing, and Maybe This Time from Cabaret. There are also somewhat less well-known numbers from musicals such as Zorba, Woman of the Year, Kiss of the Spider Woman and The Rink.
Walker, a soprano, says some of the "chesty, belty" numbers can require a lot of practice - "it's not really me" - but is enjoying the music.
One of her numbers is Isn't This Better from the Barbra Streisand movie Funny Lady (1975) which she says is "a bit of a challenge for me" because of where it lies vocally, but she's working to conquer it.
Among her other numbers are A Quiet Thing, from Kander and Ebb's first collaboration Flora the Red Menace (1965), and Arthur in the Afternoon, from the 1978 musical The Act, which starred the duo's frequent collaborator, Liza Minnelli.
She says: "There are a lot of really beautiful songs that have been rearranged for small vocal ensemble."
These include "a really beautiful version of Cabaret for the group".
Both Gordon and Walker are relatively new to Canberra's theatre world. He came here a couple of years ago and has appeared in Philo's Barnum and Ickle Pickle's Once Upon a Mattress as well as performing bartender duties in Everyman's recent production of the monologue collection Queers.
Walker came from Melbourne in January this year and The World Goes 'Round is her third show here. She played Charity in Barnum and was part of the dramatic chorus in Handel in the Theatre's production of Susanna.
"I've just started dabbling in jazz."