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Welcome to Falsettoland, a special place in the heart of New York City that unites unlikely lovers, sparring exes and a pre-pubescent boy struggling to make sense of the world. StageArt brings the award-winning Broadway hit Falsettos to the small stage and beneath the veneer of unadulterated neuroses is a show asking what it means to be a family and what it means to love.

Falsettos revolves around the life of an intelligent, professional and neurotic gay man named Marvin, his ex-wife Trina and his lover Whizzer in the early 1980s. Marvin wants it all: a modern-day tight-knit family where everyone lives in harmony, under the close supervision of Mendel, the wacky psychiatrist, who, despite his mumbo-jumbo, offers sage advice throughout the show. The reality? Marvin’s lover, Whizzer refers to his life as a “three-part opera” and breaks things off, his psychiatrist falls in love with Trina while their son Jason questions whether to go through with his Bar Mitzvah.   

Act Two is set two years later and opens with a healthy dose of energy and pizzazz. The story really picks up at this point. Trina and Mendel are married, Marvin and Whizzer reconcile and a lovely lesbian couple complete the oddball family portrait. When tragedy strikes and Whizzer is diagnosed with AIDS, everyone must put aside their differences and realise that despite the temper and tension, they do love one another.

Part of Midsumma Festival, Falsettos weighs in on themes of self-acceptance, same-sex relationships and the construct of the ‘modern’ family. Sarah Shahinian shined as Trina and was the walking embodiment of a ball of nerves. Her number, ‘I’m Breaking Down’, was performed to the hilt. The opener, ‘Four Jews in a Room Bitching’ and ‘March of the Falsettos’ were hilarious and goofy. Nick Simpson-Deeks was terrific as Mendel and really brought complexity and warmth to what otherwise could have been a one-dimensional role.

An edgy and provocative production in its hey-day, the 2018 version of Falsettos is a touching reminder of how important it is to march to the beat of your own drum.

Chapel off Chapel, 12 Little Chapel Street, Prahran
Till Sunday, 11 February 2018

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