Kerrie Anne Greenland burst onto the scene when she made her professional debut as Éponine in the 2014 Australian production of Les Misérables in which she toured for two and a half years, winning a Helpmann Award.
Photograph © James Terry
Interestingly, she is now undertaking a Masters in Opera. “Don’t tell them I’m belting, I’m not supposed to belt,” she tells audiences at her cabaret show Pictures: Songs from Movie Musicals, which Neil Gooding Productions is currently presenting in Sydney in association with the Hayes Theatre Co.
Greenland has a clear, strong soprano, which is powerful across the range, with some lovely tones in her voice. And she certainly has a huge belt, which she unleashes here with some force.
As she explains in this show, she grew up in Adelaide where her parents ran a cinema so she saw a fair few films, her favourites being movie musicals. As a child, she watched Sleeping Beauty so regularly, often on repeat, that the video tape eventually fell apart – cue a medley of Disney songs. The rest of the show features a parade of numbers from shows including The Wizard of Oz, Cabaret, Carousel, Funny Girl, The Sound of Music, Dreamgirls, My Fair Lady, An American in Paris, Mamma Mia!, Frozen and The Greatest Showman, among others.
These range from iconic, classic songs such as Somewhere Over the Rainbow (with which she opens the show), Don’t Rain on My Parade, Climb Every Mountain, and The Trolley Song (from Meet Me in St Louis in which she gave a gorgeous performance for Neglected Musicals last year) to more recent fare such as Let It Be and A Million Dreams. And naturally she sings On My Own from Les Misérables – one of the highlights.
Greenland is accompanied by Musical Director Joshua James Webb on piano and Conrad Hamill on cello, with a lamp and photographs strewn on the floor making for an effective staging.
The linking material between the songs could be developed and finessed to add a bit more impact and shape to the show, while some of the patter with the two musicians feels rather awkward and sometimes leads nowhere. Musically, Greenland takes a fairly straightforward line with arrangements and interpretation. A few surprises might not go astray but she sings beautifully overall, with great vocal clarity and immaculate diction, and received a very warm audience response.
Pictures: Songs from Movie Musicals plays at the Hayes Theatre Co at 7pm on Sunday April 28