The strange bedfellows let their imaginations run wild – you have been warned…
1. Three pieces of music that turn you on:
1. The Ballad of Sweeney Todd. Sounds dodgy, and perhaps a touch psychopathic, but there it is.
2. The Spaceship scene from Einstein on the Beach, aural LSD!
3. Any song that makes both of our ears prick up simultaneously and say, “The Bedfellows HAVE to sing that!!!”
2. Three recordings everyone should own:
1. Grease 2 – oh, come ON; its a classic!
2. Barbara’s Classical Album
3. Strange Bedfellows: Under the Covers – Live at the Vanguard on DVD, available mid-June. In fact, this should probably be number one.
4. Can we add Michael Bolton’s Classical Album? If you haven’t heard it, do yourself a favour – Pourquoi me reveiller is a revelation!
3. Three musical heroes:
1. Elizabeth Connell. She was a vocal force of nature, a supreme actress and a totally mad sweetheart off-stage!
2. Jacques Brel, who can capture the human spirit in three notes and toss you sweating and shattered out the other end of a song. Needless to say, we want to sing more of him.
3. Daryl Wallis, our genius long-suffering musical director at Strange Bedfellows™, who turns us into silken purses every time, despite our sow’s ear tendencies.
4. Your three naughtiest pieces of music:
Obviously Kanen’s piece, which the Bedfellows perform, The Scat Duet. The name says it all… and then it escalates! Along the same lines, Thomas Morley’s Will you buy a fine dog? has particular resonance for us these days, and The Book of Mormon cast recording is on high rotation round our way.
5. Most underrated composer:
Andrew Lloyd Webber. Seriously, if you close your eyes and listen really closely, some of it actually sounds like Puccini. Genius!
6. Three pieces of music you could happily never hear again:
1. Divinities du Styx. I was forced to sing this for AMEB exams and detest it.
2. Jack, Jack, Jackie… or whatever the name is of that hideous pile of poop that pours out of folks’ mouths when I tell them my name. HATE it!
3. Anything by Puccini. The man was clearly a plagiarist, right ALW?
7. What has been your greatest theatrical experience?
J: Performing Amneris in Aida on the Harbour this year was pretty darn special. Exhausting and soggy, but incredibly rewarding.
Both: Writing and performing our first Bedfellows show. It was a labour of love and we poured so much of ourselves into it with no idea how it’d be received. It was so brilliant to have such a gorgeous response, especially to the material that we we wrote ourselves (only three letters objecting to the filth, that we are aware of).
8. Three favourite films:
1. Princess Bride… Jacqui has been ruined for all other men after Mandy Patinkin hugged her and whispered the Inigo Montoya line in her ear live in the flesh.
2. Waiting For Guffman. If you have ever been involved in amateur theatre and haven’t seen this gem, run don’t walk to find a copy!
3. Whatever happened to Baby Jane? Kanen says: “I keep Jacqui locked up at home and only let her off the chain to ‘dress’ the stage while I’m performing my incredible cabaret work.“
9. Three favourite books:
1. Songmaker, Orson Scott Card. Just beautiful, especially for singers.
2. The Chrysalids, John Wyndham. For all the outsiders.
3. The Vintner’s luck. Where’s MY angel, goddammit?!
10. Three favourite places in the world:
2. New York City.
3. Inside a cinema waiting for a fruity Bollywood melodrama to start.
4. Backstage just before the curtain goes up.
5. We don’t follow instructions very well, do we?
11. What would you say was your proudest moment?
K: I don’t have proud moments, I have moments of orgasmic relief where I say to myself, “Well Sir, you got away with it again.” I then run screaming to my bed for a lie down and a stiff one.
J: Having the courage to become a single mum, and the immense joy/pride I have in my little boy every day. I suspect I’d be a shrunken husk without Kane by my side to take the journey with me.
12. An embarrassing or awkward moment:
J: Tripping over whilst a tad tipsy and having to be straddled and held off the floor by Yvonne Kenny. It’s a long story!
K: Accidentally blowing out the candle in act one and cracking Mimi’s head into the doorframe in act four of La Bohème. On my opening night. On Broadway.
J: Strangely enough, the whole cast of Baz’s Bohème on Broadway was called to a company meeting directly after Kane’s first performance and told that the show was cancelled. I’m not joking. Go figure!
13. What do you do to relax?
J: What is this ‘relax’ of which you speak? Two separate performing careers and an almost-three-year-old? I’ll relax when I stop wearing sequins and start wearing beige pantsuits.
K: I like to take a brisk walk, to the nearest brewery.
14. Three guilty pleasures:
Both: Cadbury Marvellous (we are both addicted!)
K: The odd Marlboro Gold
J: Dolly Parton. I’m working on a solo cabaret tribute show which I’m calling ‘Parton Me!’
Both: Watching hour after hour of bloopers on YouTube.
15. Six living people you would most like to have round for dinner:
Our six best buddies.
Famous folk? Dylan Moran, Stephen Hawking, Bette Midler, Stephen Fry and the Stenmark twins (Google them!).
16. Three historical people you would most like to meet in a bar:
1. Jesus. Looking at the world today, I feel like he might need a stiff drink.
2. The Marquis de Sade, as inspiration for future Bedfellows shows.
3. Whitney Houston. She looked like she could knock back a few and she was cashed up to buggery.
17. A historical person you’d like to go on a date with:
Mozart. Filthy mouth, insane talent, naughty in every way – my kind of man!
Richard Feynman. Genius, physicist, naughty in every way – also my kind of man.
Dorothy Parker. A well chosen barb from La Parker would have been the highest honor imaginable.
18. Which fictitious person would you most like to have as a next-door neighbour?
Any one (or all) of the inhabitants of the Faraway Tree. Or Homer Simpson.
19. Your favourite food:
Both: A little tuna pasta dish we like to call ‘Tunie num nums’. We’ll cook it for you some time!
K: Taco Bill Tacos and anything served with a side of Haloumi.
J: Anything Japanese, as I don’t have Kane’s freakish metabolism.
20. Which composer would you most like to write an opera about your lives – and what would it be called?
K: Philip Glass is already working on his next biopic, based loosely on our extraordinary lives. The working title at the moment is Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Jacqui Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen Kanen. It’s going to be riveting and Henry Choo will play me. Jacqui’s role will be spoken word, performed by Susan Boyle. Or Betty White.
J: Kanen will die a gory, ignominious death at the end and Jacqui/Betty’s 74-minute final monologue, spoken in a monotone under a single repeating arpeggio, will go down in history next to Hamlet’s soliloquy.
*This survey could not have been completed without the extraordinary assistance of Elise Lerpiniere and Harriette Blanden, who let Jacqui squander the Orchestra Victoria resources required for its completion.
Jacqui and Kanen are in Strange Bedfellows (in case you couldn’t tell), at the Vanguard, Newtown and Adelaide Cabaret Festival