In February of 2019, Tyran starred in the ‘Boys of Sondheim’ at the City recital Hall in Sydney.
“Stand out performances come from Tyran Parke’s textured and precise (Not) Getting Married Today and Could I Leave You where he ensures that Sondheim’s fabulous lyrics are clear whilst delivering an expressive character performance. His vocals are, as always, wonderful, and he interprets the music with understanding whilst his physicality is brilliantly comical in these two dark manic numbers… Whilst BOYS OF SONDHEIM was a one night only engagement in Sydney, hopefully it will be reprised at a later date so more audiences can enjoy this evening of easy entertainment as it is a delightful treat for Sondheim and musical theatre fans.” Broadway World
A highlight of 2018 was directing Australia’s own Broadway star; Caroline O’Connor in ‘From Broadway with Love’.
“If any proof were needed as to why Caroline O’Connor is regarded as one of the most accomplished and sought-after music theatre performers in the world, then this sensational concert has certainly provided it in spades…. Throughout, treating every member of the audience as if each was her bestie, she punctuated the songs with personal stories about the songs, and her experiences in the shows from which they came. ” Canberra Critics Circle
“Directed by Tyran Parke, who was also a feature artist, stage manager, and even a human prop for one of the songs, the performance commenced with a dramatic orchestral medley of songs associated with O’Connor. Parke and the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Choir then took the stage to perform Sondheim’s “Invocation and Instructions to the Audience”, during which O’Connor surprised the audience by emerging from among the choir to join Parke for some wicked contemporary updates of the original lyrics…. This was one of those one-off, “You should’ve been there” events, destined to be forever locked in the memory-banks of those in the capacity audience lucky enough to have shared it. You should have been there!” Australian Arts review
As a writer, Tyran received rave reviews for Jodie Stubbs in ‘WOMAN – A mother of a Cabaret’ which continues to tour Australia.
“WOMAN is a terrific showcase for Jodie’s versatile voice and has a great balance of humour, the human experience, history, and heart… This show provides plenty of opportunities to laugh and to sing and clap along. Mothers should flock to this show, and quickly if the opening night crowd is anything to go by.” Theatre People (Adelaide)
“With a few simple props and costumes, Jodie Stubbs manages to take the audience on a journey filled with song, comedy, laughter and a few heartfelt tears…This is a well-crafted show of songs – ranging from Broadway and pop to R&B and soul – stitched together with lean and clever banter. And it’s tasteful, not ultra-feminist, just funny and true (I should know, I’m a mum too)… book quickly or you’ll miss out.” Weekend notes.com
“Co-written by Tyran Parke and Jodie Stubbs, the script is both humorous and personal, brushing the surface of deeper socio-political tension but focusing on the story close at hand: a woman just keeping her life together by indulging her dreams and talent. Through Parke’s script, Stubbs is able to construct a portrait of mounting personal strain bubbling beneath a fragile surface, demonstrating her ability as a confident and comfortable performer. Theatre People (Melbourne)
The work of Stephen Sondheim is an ongoing passion for Tyran and directing ‘Sunday in the Park with George’, in Perth was a pinnacle moment in his directing career.
“I saw Sam Buntrock’s much-lauded 2008 production on Broadway and left completely disconnected to it, despite its extraordinary technical achievement…This production, directed by Tyran Parke, is fresh-faced and committed, bursting with talent and yet, impressively, far more effective in conveying the story’s layers of observation and meaning… Parke is aided by some nifty work from David King’s 14-piece band and visuals from a design team who manage to match the whizbangery of the Broadway show without a Broadway budget…This is a Sondheim you can approach without caution, and I’m happy to recommend that you do just that.” The West Australian
“A highly polished, beautifully presented production, it showcases the talents of this cohort and their creative contemporaries beautifully… All of the performances are strong, with a strong commitment to character…Sunday in the Park With George shows a strong cast who seem ready to make their mark on the theatre world. Keep your eyes peeled for this dynamic young graduating class, and if you are able to catch one of their final performances at WAAPA, you will not be disappointed.” Stage Whispers
“In the world of show-goers there are Sondheim people: a unique congregation of theatre lovers who worship at the alter of Stephen Sondheim. Then there are others, myself included, who appreciate good performance and can’t deny the mastery of the composer and lyricist’s work. Award-winning singer, actor and director Tyran Parke is – self-confessed – one of the former….With this winning combination, Parke makes a case for us all to become Sondheim people”. Seesaw
“My top ten musicals, cabaret and concerts of the year:
1. Sunday in the Park With George – WAAPA
Yes, I cried. Both nights I went…Every aspect of the production was exceptional – set & art design, costuming, lighting and sound, the orchestra – plus two wonderful lead performances.This was an exceptional production of what is a masterwork by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine.” Perth Theatre Reviews
2018 started with the tour of the Pulitzer Prize winning David Auburn play, ‘Proof’.
“The show is absorbingly well done and tightly directed… The past and present intertwine well in this taut production. This touring show proceeds at a great pace and becomes an absorbing night at the theatre”.The Canberra times
“The play is unpredictable as it progresses. The first surprise, occurring early in the play, grabs your full attention from that point onwards. You’re then drawn deeply into the action and really care for these characters. Beautifully written, directed and performed, it’s a play you’ll remember for a long time afterwards”. Canberra Critics Circle
Tyran made his operatic debut with Monterverdi’s ‘The Coronation of Poppea’ for Lyric opera of Melbourne to great critical acclaim winning the Opera Chaser award for Best Director;
“The Coronation of Poppea…surges to life in Lyric Opera of Melbourne’s outstanding new production. Director Tyran Parke’s fine credentials are put to the test in an opera directorial debut that delivers an edgy, intelligent and dramatically well-paced entertaining treasure…superbly depicted character interactions accompanied by quality singing…Planted firmly on the poetry of the text, Parke’s inventiveness is replicated by design that brims with sophistication…Parke’s part-prankish approach is an enlivening accompaniment to the percolating drama, one he gives truthfulness to that celebrates the opera’s near 400-year existence and a highly recommended one to head off to.” Herald Sun
“Clever creative artistry and bountiful talent make for a compelling production of The Coronation of Poppea in this mighty achievement from Lyric Opera of Melbourne…In a neat theatrical coup, the company has engaged a director for this production whose passion, intelligence and insight are a worthy match for maestro Miller. The result is a presentation of at least double the quality…Well experienced in the world of musical theatre, particularly in boutique productions of similar scale to this one, acclaimed director Tyran Parke works his magic on The Coronation of Poppea to fascinating effect. While the structure of baroque operas can often lead to a stand and sing structure, Parke plays with the flow of arias, having characters hover in the background before their next aria or dwell on stage reflecting on their thoughts after singing…Parke’s concept is set in an abstract time and place where modern and classical elements coexist. The prologue is confronting for traditional operagoers, with tragic drag queens Virtue and Fortune staggering home to the strains of nightclub music. While this opening deliberately grabs attention, Parke grounds the ensuing action in human truth, leading to a final set of scenes that are as dramatically satisfying as they are moving…The quality of this season of The Coronation of Poppea stands mightily on its own merits… Simon Parris
“This all-star cast is in good hands with experienced director Tyran Parke — whose track record includes on over 80 professional productions since graduating from WAAPA — who manages to bring together an array of people with various theatrical backgrounds. The Coronation of Poppea is an opera that truly has stood the test of time and has never been done the way Lyric Opera has presented it.” Milk Bar
“Lyric Opera have provided me with many delightful evenings at the theatre, but never with as much vocal talent as was on display in this performance…The simple set comprised a bed with doors, which could be folded back. This was very effective. The modern costumes worked well and have the gods, Fortune and Virtue, in drag was a novel approach. This performance was one of the highlights of the opera season.”Graham Ford Stage Whisper
“Finding inspiration in the Fellini films of the 60s, director Tyran Parke has worked with his design team to blend costumes from that era with a surreal staging that transcends a particular time and place. A gigantic closet, with folding doors that are opened and closed for various scene changes, dominates the simple set. In the background, the sumptuous folds of a vibrant red curtain suggest both passion and a theatrical world…a major contributor to the success of this production and makes it one that should not be missed.” CLASSIC Melbourne
“guaranteed to get opera lovers salivating. Add to that the prospect of some of early opera’s most expressive music, including a swoon-worthy final duet and the proposition seems irresistible…The current production of The Coronation of Poppea by Lyric Opera of Melbourne is alive to the theatrical and musical possibilities of Monteverdi’s last opera..Director Tyran Parke clearly establishes the impotence of these deities from the outset, as the flawed mortals of the story are often appealing to them for heavenly patronage…Parke and the singers worked well together to keep the long flow of material involving, especially in the second half…Lyric Opera’s production tells the story in a colourful and attractive way” Limelight
“the work itself is hard-edged, in soap-opera terms, more pumice stone than Palmolive. Accordingly, it duly received a swift andsinewy performance…Tyran Parke’s focussed but occasionally silly production, with thrust-stage set dominated by a large wardrobe and (for Act II) a long dining table, worked well in the intimacy of Chapel offChapel…this Poppea was cumulatively a noble experience. Three hours (one interval) can be a long time in opera, but the evening sped by as if on Mercury’s wings.” THE AGE Review by Michael Shmith:
“Enthralled by the performance…vivid all the way in looks and drama…part prankish approach and percolating drama intensify…director Tyran Parkes edgy, intelligent poppea opens in deliciously impressive style” opera chaser
The chamber musical, “Ordinary Days” was a huge success for Tyran in May 2017. Tyran won the prestigious Green Room Award for best Director of a Musical for this production.
“For a modern, character-driven musical, there is no better director in Australia than Tyran Parke, a proven master at illuminating the minutiae of human connections. Parke’s subtle, yet highly detailed direction brings the characters vividly to life…Lovers of modern musical theatre are sure to cherish this welcome production of Ordinary Days.” Simon Parrish
“Gwon’s music is beautiful. This joyous show will stick with you…These voices are wonderful, full and moving. The four-piece band sounds much larger but executes this exquisite music wonderfully…Ordinary Days is about people finding themselves and their partners. It’ll break your heart apart, piece it back together and warm it thoroughly… I hope this one gets the hype it deserves. I left with a sore face from smiling and slightly smudged makeup from tears.” Theatre people
“Ordinary Days is a slick contemporary chamber musical with heart… It is a relatable, believable and thoroughly enjoyable show about growing up and enjoying the view…Director Tyran Parke has done an outstanding job bringing such dramatic and creative gems out of these four talented people…there were some truly magical goosebump moments throughout…the music and characters pull us in and help us to see and appreciate the little things, which is so important, especially now. Escape the cold and get swept up in finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.” Theatre Press
“Warm, witty and engaging…Directed by Tyran Parke, Ordinary Days is often funny and at times moving (There’s one scene in which I had tears running down my face)” The Blurb
“This production of Ordinary Days is sublime and verifies the show’s central idea that the ordinary can be beautiful… The stars must have aligned when Parke was casting the show, with all four actors delivering performances that were independently convincing and endearing, but collectively perfectly balanced and engaging… may well be one of the best things to appear on stage this year… Staging and direction is tight and effective, moments are bittersweet without being overplayed…sensitive and clever delivery of the actors and production team…The show runs for around one hour, but the production is so engrossing it feels like twenty minutes. Do yourself a favour and don’t miss this one.” BROADWAY WORLD
Tyran directed “Big Fish” at the Hayes Theatre in April 2017 to wonderful reviews.
“Director Tyran Parke has shined up the musical beautifully in an imaginative and wonderfully performed production… It’s the sense that this superb cast has pulled together to generously tell this story that lends this production its greatest magic. And, it has magic in spades.” Daily Review
“High energy show reels you in…Here, the audience is invited to do a little more of the imaginative lifting in a vivid production directed by Tyran Parke… Using the space well, Parke and choreographer Cameron Mitchell create memorable sequences” Sydney Morning Herald
“Parke has crafted a production that is immensely entertaining, genuinely moving and recreates the whimsical world that (writer) Daniel Wallace envisioned with such wonderful clarity… Parke and his team have worked hard to ensure that the professional premiere of Big Fish in Australia is memorable for all the right reasons.” Theatre People
“Not too often can you honestly say that a smaller independent production of a musical is undeniably better than a full-scale Broadway production, but Big Fish at the Hayes Theatre has surely got to be one of those times… Big Fish is a whimsical delight, all kinds of magic, and an absolute must-see.” The AU Review
“Tyran Parke delivers an intimate but none the less impressive, inventive interpretation… filled with passion and heart, presented with a purity and understanding of the emotions each character experiences. Do not miss this show, it is a definite must see.” Broadway World
“the separate round of applause not solicited but proffered for Parke at the end of the play, was well deserved… Big Fish is another exceptional production from Hayes that will no doubt excite both fans of the original and the uninitiated.” Arts Hub Australia
“Mr Parke, has created a beautiful production… One could not want a more wonderfully executed production, it is first class.” Theatre Diary Kevin Jackson
“this production hits all the right notes in the tiny Hayes space, with a wonderful cast and imaginative staging from director Tyran Parke…. this show will be seen by a wider audience.” Stagewhispers
“…radiates a great deal of love from everyone involved … it’s impossible not to be moved… Tyran Parke directs with a light, loving touch and handles the transitions between past and present beautifully, keeping the production flowing seamlessly… a delightful production here that will warm the cockles of your heart” Jo Litson Limelight
“Parke has drawn pitch-perfect performances from his entire cast… Parke’s clever use of shadows, simple, well-executed illusions, imaginative costuming and inventive choreography combined to transport his production into a seductive world of whimsy and fantasy transcending the confines of the tiny Hayes Theatre,.” Australian Arts Review
“One of the most emotional and enchanting theatre experiences I have had in some time. Be surprised and see Big Fish.” Dance Life
“Once upon a time there was a small intimate theatre that decided to put on a musical called BIG FISH and the show became a smash hit and just grew and grew…This captivating musical has a heart bigger than the Nullarbor Plains… Under Tyran Parke’s refined, accomplished direction, and thrillingly staged, the brilliant cast bring this story to magnificent life…With warmth, humour, whimsy and a magnificent cast, this show is phenomenal, theatrical magic and a must see. The full house standing ovation was more than richly deserved. Quick! Go treat yourself now”. Sydney Arts Guide
“managed to inspire standing ovations times three… The production is a delightful and charming telling of this tale, it is an incredibly pure little musical with a big heart. Sometimes when creative teams are limited by small stages and small budgets their imagination bubbles over and a fascinating creativity takes the stage… a performance that does not falter. Every character stands on their own as well developed; rehearsal time was well spent…the energy on stage was full to overflowing… Big Fish is a fanciful and carefully crafted piece of musical theatre, it brings the polish of the Broadway stage back home to Australia with a warmth and roughened edge that endears it to the audience even more. For lovers of musicals and classic narrative this is a great night out for you, that promises to keep you dancing, smiling and holding hands all the way home”. Talking Arts
“This rendition may be streamlined, but director Tyran Parke brings a richness to the staging, with simple but exciting visuals that live up, surprisingly, to the story’s imaginative landscapes. The cast is buoyant and bubbly, determined to entertain”. Suzie Goes See
“Spread the word: Sydney is currently home to a rare gem of a show… The Big Fish company have a lot to be proud of, and with recurrent standing ovations, it’s a show that simply can’t be missed by theatre-lovers… director Tyran Parke has tackled the challenge with alacrity. Most notably, Parke turns Big Fish into an ensemble piece, where all performers support one another as onlookers or as witnesses to the action, and adopt multiple identities. It’s a delight… Despite the physical restrictions, the production brings a lot to the table, and what it brings is innovative and original… this production makes a point of telling its story through deft subtlety… This production of Big Fish is glowing in love. The commitment and the pride of all involved is so clear that you’re sure to be on the journey with them for those two and a half hours…Under Parke’s expert watch, the company have created a piece of theatre which is dripping in energy and swimming in quality”. PROP Sydney Essential Theatre
“…Hayes Theatre take a Broadway flop and turn it into a six-tissues + standing ovation popular hit. The man largely responsible for this phenomenon is director Tyran Parke. His fervent wish and tireless efforts to stage Big Fish mirror the dreams and innate sweetness of the main character and the result is unexpected and enchanting…a production that’s quirky, funny and touching by turn… the company is as vocally accomplished as one might expect from a show created and directed by Tyran Parke. He’s made much more of the piece than is really there and brought out all possible heart and soul through the very fine performers… Big Fish is as cute and sharp as rock candy, yet it has a bitter-sweet centre highlighted by Parke’s telling of the tale, that lifts it to a place where heart strings are plucked and tears and laughter happen. Recommended.” Stage Noise
“Musicals that pull on your heart-strings are not an easy find, but Big Fish proves that imaginative but humble stagings can ignite the magic of storytelling equally, if not better than the often rife efforts of a full-blown spectacle…director Tyran Parke’s spellbinding vision brings the audience into the action of Edward’s charismatic storytelling…magnetic intensity shatters all hopes of leaving this enchanting production with tears unshed.” Aussietheatre.com
2016 started out wonderfully for Tyran. He has just completed Sondheim’s, ‘Follies’ at the Melbourne Recital with an all-star cast.
“Superb direction and electric performances makes this presentation of Follies in Concert far more than a rose-tinted trip down memory lane…. Apart from a fabulous collection of stars, this season of Follies (the fourth that I have seen in Melbourne) is set apart by the crystal clear, and highly affecting, storytelling. With limited stage space, no sets or props and just modern evening wear as costumes, Tyran Parke’s direction brings the pain and regret of the central two middle-aged couples vividly to life… This, the first full production for Storeyboard Entertainment, the high quality of Follies in Concert augurs well for future seasons. For a show that can often be just a featherlight collection of great tunes, the layers of meaning exposed by Parke’s direction add significantly to the attraction of this starry staging.” Simon Parris 5 stars
“Getting that many superstars on the same stage is nothing short of a miracle…In this production (no two Follies are the same), director Tyran Parke makes some lovely use of the convention, such as having the older Weismann girls’ entrances mirrored by their younger selves… Of course it’s very different experiencing Follies as a 34-year-old, replete with burgeoning regrets and tailing a few broken relationships, than it was as a precocious 11-year-old. But what’s most moving about the show is the knowledge that Follies will only truly hit home in another two decades. I can think of no better long-term investment.” THE GUARDIAN 4 stars
“Director Tyran Parke has assembled a fine cast of seasoned professionals and staged this production well, within the confines of a limited rehearsal period and a concert stage… David Hobson, Lisa McCune, Philip Quast and Anne Wood all glow in the opportunities given to them as the leading couples, while Debra Byrne, Robert Grubb, David Rogers-Smith, Queenie van de Zandt and the legend that is Nancye Hayes lend their considerable talents to the proceedings… Storeyboard Entertainment must be congratulated in managing to produce this star-studded concert version, especially when other producers are flooding the market with more commercial product and far less substance. It’s a shame that the season is so short, as the sheer mastery of Follies still shines and should be experienced by anyone who loves musical theatre.” Australian Stage Online.
“There is so much combined experience on the stage it lends this most ambivalent musical about the ageing process a defiant, celebratory quality…Of course, this being Sondheim, we are never far from darkness and despair. Director Tyran Parke understands this well and gets considerable mileage from the play’s liberal use of dramatic irony. Often the central characters will be singing one thing, desperately trying to believe it, and indicating to the audience something entirely different. Throughout, all four leads are tightly attuned to the self-deceptions and unacknowledged motivations of their flawed and flailing characters, and each have moments of genuine virtuosity.” Australian Book Review
“To hear that orchestra, with the great Jonathan Tunick’s original orchestrations, was nothing short of magic…The storyline is slight. A beautiful old theatre, home to The Follies for decades, is being demolished to make way for a car park. That’s it, in a nutshell – but it is perfectly put together. Director Tyran Parke’s decision to include the book and let his artists carry scripts on stage was the perfect solution to the limited rehearsal time. That he pulled this show together in such a limited time is staggering, and shows why his directing star is rising exponentially… A thousand bouquets to Adrian Storey for his commitment to the pursuit of excellence and for bringing us this Follies. It’s a gift that will be hard to beat for decades. You only have TODAY to see Follies. It isn’t going interstate and no extension is possible. Get to the airport NOW.” Stage Whispers
“A star-studded cast last night opened Follies in Concert in the beautiful Melbourne Recital Centre. This concert production was the first professional production for Storeyboard Entertainment, a benchmark now set for many great things to come!…The choice to stage this as a concert works perfectly to bring this work to life… The action plays out on an open and undressed stage, complete with an orchestra of 24 under the tight musical direction of Stephen Gray. The cast moved the piece complete with fully choreographed musical numbers by Kelly Aykers. Director Tyran Parke has moved the piece thoughtfully and the musical numbers are where this production finds its strengths… Follies in Concert is a real treat and with only one more performance in the limited season, I’d suggest you get there tonight!” Theatrepeople
The New Australian musical, Crossroads was a huge critical success in it’s world premiere production in Melbourne.
A brave and trailblazing production…the execution of this musical takes a so-so narrative and transforms it into something utterly compelling, packed with charm, humour and so much heart, my own was fit to burst by final curtain. The Cast are sensational…Director Tyran Parke has focused on intimacy over spectacle, side-stepping the limited resources at his disposal by allowing the cast’s vocal and acting abilities to carry this show. Crossroads has shown itself to be the new Australian musical that deserves to go on to become an old Australian classic. Limelight
It’s evident that the team have poured a great deal of care and love into this production and the dedication is apparent on stage… Every number in Costanzo’s score is tuneful and easy on the ear …. this work is effectual and visually pleasing… this confident “world premiere” could even be the first of many stagings, both here and dare I say it, overseas. Theatrepeople
This story of finding love and losing it is uniquely theirs, but it’s also one that belongs to all of us… Crossxroads is a brilliant piece of Australian musical theatre… The sets for this production were very minimal however used exceptionally well… Combined with the sets, the lighting of this production felt effortless and enhanced the effects of the large banners through the projection of light or images… Crossxroads is a fantastic example of home grown professionalism in theatre, the vocals were excellent second to the quality of acting and proficiency in conveying emotion…there was no lack of engagement — This production will take you through the full gamut of emotions, and back again! Theatreview
Alinta Chidzey is a true triple threat with a great voice, great looks and an endearing quality on stage.Tyran Parke nails beautifully in his direction… Bronte Florian succeeds in several cameos, and the fabulous Edward Grey was excellent. Stagewhispers
… the innovation and vision of a director who treats the work like a prized gem. The flow-on benefits mean that CROSSxROADS has attracted an incredibly talented cast and a highly capable production team…Director Tyran Parke has taken a relatively simple story and created a living piece of theatre…Parke wins us over with the intensity of the central romance as well as the amusing exploits of the comical second lead couple. Each of the eight highly talented cast members devotes their full energy and commitment to giving their very best performance… Anthony Costanzo’s score is a highlight of the new work… Michael Ralph’s unobtrusive choreography is performed with the same high level of skill that the cast brings to all their work. Kim Bishop’s costumes make great use of colour themes and help to advance the characters’ ages as ten years pass by… Simon Parris
There is much to like in Crossroads, a romantic comedy that is one of those rare beasts- a new Australian musical…exceptionally talented cast…Fitzpatrick’s cunning book…Parke’s direction keeps the staging simple and the action moving swiftly while the five-piece band is tight and tuneful under the musical direction of David Wisken…the quality of this production, with its fine cast, suggests that Crossroads could be the new Australian musical to watch. The Herald Sun
A superb musical score and the rich, strong and pure voice of Alinta Chidzey make the world premiere of this new Australian musical one not to be missed… The music and the lyrics are undoubtedly a highlight of CROSSxROADS, which is not without its lighter, merrier and more comedic interludes. The story moves along at pace and the well-worn saying “there is never a dull moment” comes to mind when reflecting upon the melodrama of this couple’s lives. In short,CROSSxROADS is an engaging triumph and a crowd pleaser. The Blurb
His direction of the Concert, ‘From Broadway to la Scala’ starring Lisa McCune, Teddy Tahu-Rhodes, David Hobson and Greta Bradman had a sell out Australia/NZ tour and received five star reviews and standing ovations. It was recorded for Foxtel and then released on DVD through the ABC.
“Lots of songs, all meticulously accompanied by the Adelaide Symphony
Orchestra under Scammell’s secure baton. Lots of banter – quite
homely, but also unmistakeably professional, thanks to Parke. The two
directors reckon there is enough stuff to do 10 of these. Bring it
on.” The Adelaide Advertiser
“When you put four of Australia’s greatest voices together on the
stage of the Sydney Opera House, pair them with the Australian Opera
and Ballet Orchestra, hand them a set list of some of the most
stunning pieces of opera and most beloved songs of musical theatre and
sprinkle them with just the right amount of onstage charm, then I
think you’ve set yourself up for some enchanted evening! And enchant
is exactly what Greta Bradman, David Hobson, Lisa McCune and Teddy
Tahu Rhodes do inBroadway to La Scala…. The evening is a balanced mix
between solos and duets, with each having their individual moments to
shine and everyone singing with everyone else and then all together
again.” The AU review Sydney
“From Rodgers and Hammerstein to Mozart, Bernstein to Bizet and all
the greats in between, this production soared from the very beginning.
From Broadway To La Scala has something special for everyone…A hauntingly beautiful You’ll Never Walk Alone led to a well-deserved standing ovation for the performers…From Broadway To La Scala was a spectacular showcase of some of theatre’s most memorable musical moments, performed by a host of seriously talented artists. Bravo!” Clothesline Adelaide
In Adelaide Tyran even went on for an ill David Hobson, receiving wonderful reviews for his direction AND his performance!
“In bringing together this group of hugely talented and skilled operatic and musical theatre artists, Producers Andrew McKinnon and Phil Bathols ensured that audiences were sincerely ‘wowed’ for a solid two hours. Highlights were many, the carefully chosen set list allowing the performers to shine whilst sharing the songs for which they have become so well known. McCune sang beautifully and also had fun with Irving Berlin’s You’re Just In Love from Call Me Madam in a whimsical number shared with an energetic Parke.
In Act Two, Anything You Can Do from Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun was a moment of pure pleasure as we watched Parke and Rhodes in particular, ‘square up’ and try to ‘outdo’ each other on stage.
A hauntingly beautiful You’ll Never Walk Alone led to a well-deserved standing ovation for the performers. For their encore, Parke returned with the rest for a fabulous arrangement of Hallelujah with Scammell on piano.
From Broadway To La Scala was a spectacular showcase of some of theatre’s most memorable musical moments, performed by a host of seriously talented artists. Bravo!
Rosie van Heerde Clothesline
His personal cabaret show, Children and Art, had brilliant success at The Hayes Theatre Cabaret Season in June,
Damn Tyran Parke. His cabaret CHILDREN AND ART has disrupted my precious sleeping. Not just because it’s a brilliantly written show interpreted by a charismatic and talented star but because it lingers in the twilight, full appreciation of the complexity just slightly out of reach. As the light fades on the experience of seeing his show, the concepts curl into relief and his colours reach into memory demanding further consideration… their story is a sad one at heart, though with an affirming ending … at this point. Funny and silly with pathos to spare, sibling love shines through Parke’s writing and storytelling. And he is a wonderful storyteller.
For his role as George, Parke took painting classes and delved into the life of his character, visiting the paintings and walking where George walked and this show has those impressions all over it. Not just in the direct to audience comments or the songs such as ‘Finishing the Hat’ and ‘Putting It All Together’ but in the shape of the show.
Seurat’s Pointillism style where closeup the work is nothing but dots, the shape appearing only at a distance has the light, chromoluminarism, as the most important tool. Every sentence, smile and scat is one of those dots in CHILDREN AND ART. Parke even begins the show offstage, and we hear the song without words.
He hasn’t overdone the art metaphor instead Parke has taken the light that is so important in the viewing of the paintings as his through line.
The movement of the dotted light shapes during ‘Schadenfreude’ from AVENUE Q is restrained and allows the artist to shine. ‘Choose Happy’ is fun and busy. ‘Both Sides Now’ shines with a lovely violet colour.
‘Vincent’ is gentle and sweet with a warm blue on the superb Musical Director, Luke Byrne’s white keys. This song is interpreted so richly. Parke simply wafts the words through the audience in a slightly breathy, chest voice which transfixes the audience until “The ragged men in ragged clothes” line when he lifts high up in his range and transports us to the place of Vincent’s pain.
There is so much to appreciate about this show yet, essentially CHILDREN AND ART is a good looking man in a white shirt and, what I must say, is a very nice black suit on a black stage with a dark piano. But Tyran Parke’s writing, directing, singing and storytelling lingers, encouraging the kind of reflection that disturbed my sleep. Damn that boy’s good! Arts Hub
Singer, actor and director Tyran Parke credits his Mum for his artistic genes… So for 9-year-old Tyran, when his mother died suddenly of a severe asthmatic episode, it was as if ‘someone had turned out the sun’.
It’s this astronomical cataclysm around which the sincere stories and moving songs of Parke’s one-man cabaret Children and Art orbit. The title of the show is inspired by artist George Seurat’s pithy sentiment in Stephen Sondheim’s musical Sunday in the Park with George: “There are only two worthwhile things you leave behind when you depart this world of ours– children and art.” While that’s terrible news for childless mathematicians, Children and Art is great news for cabaret enthusiasts. By exploring how he and his two brothers reacted to their mother’s premature passing, both emotionally and artistically, Parke pays tribute to a woman who left behind a worthwhile legacy.
The show succeeds not because of Parke’s stunning voice or impressive acting. It succeeds because his powerful family narrative gives poignancy to a series of classic songs which, without this context, would just sound quite nice.
Parke describes his Mum, alone while the family sleeps, peering up into the night sky on the veranda of their suburban home in Newcastle. He tells us she ‘suffered more than we realised’ before singing Don McLean’s ‘Vincent’ with great empathy. Poetic lyrics like ‘with eyes that know the darkness of my soul’ resonate in light of his Mum’s experience.
We learn about the ‘invisible brother’ Grant, who tried to cling to the positives when he heard of his Mum’s death: ‘Good, now she won’t yell at me anymore’. We listen to a clever extended metaphor about the youngest of three as the downgraded planet Pluto. Grant found it impossible to get the attention and respect from his family that a full planet would deserve, even once the young asthma sufferer had become the ‘king of diseases’. An especially cruel blow came when his aging grandmother forgot his name during a family guessing game. These stories are punctuated by the gorgeous harmonies of Parke and Musical Director Luke Byrne in Ingrid Michaelson’s ‘Keep Breathing’. It is a touching evocation of Grant’s survival instinct in the face of depressing invisibility.
Parke’s intelligent storytelling range goes beyond the melancholic. He tickles the audience with an anecdote about keeping images of sad and angry Guess Who characters close by to feel better about himself. His gleeful and energetic rendition of ‘Schadenfreude’ at this point is perfect…an excellent piece of work. Long time fans will come out of this show in raptures, like one who said afterwards ‘I cried for the entire last 30 minutes’, or another who said ‘I just watched one of my idols sing one of my favourite songs ever’… For the open minded and uninitiated, Tyran Parke will win you over with great talent, first-rate storytelling and universal themes of suffering and the pursuit of lasting meaning.
George Seurat, Philip Quast and Tyran’s Mum would all be very proud.
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
along with his direction for the Rob Mills cabaret- Rob Mills is Surprisingly Good! which was nominated for best cabaret at the Sydney Theatre Critics AND Gluggs awards.
“The show flowed impeccably, thanks to the writing and the clear
vision by director Tyran Parke. Each moment of dialogue was there for
a clear purpose, and each song seamlessly connected the different
stories to each other. There was never a moment of stilted or forced
dialogue to bridge a transition.” Aussie Theatre.
“ROB MILLS IS “SURPRISINGLY GOOD” is a wonderful cabaret worth seeing for everyone, not just those that are familiar with his previous work.
Mills utilizes all the necessary aspects of the genre to share his
personal story with energy and passion and prove that he is much more
than people generally think he is.” Broadway World
Mills’ passion, soul and emotion are beautifully expressed through his interpretations of the music which ranges from pop to musical theatre, including works he is well known for. It is clear from no only his vocal expression but his body language and even eye contact, demonstrates he understands the music and connects to the lyrics rather than just singing songs for the sake of it. His blending of song and story as he talks about his childhood ambitions has perfect pace and balance. There is light and shade, humor and gravity in the work as he talks about the highlights of his life along with the darker, more painful moments. Stage Whispers
2014 is a busy year with Tyran currently appearing in ‘Lovebites’ at the Hayes Theatre;
LOVE BITES at the Hayes Theatre at the moment. Well, sometimes it bites, taking a large chunk out of your heart but at other times it just nibbles your ear and makes you love it…The quartet (Kirby Burgess, Tyran Parke, Adele Parkinson and Shaun Rennie) make it very clear that there is to be no judgement about where the human heart will love…The four artists are energetic and engaging even on a Saturday night after a long week. There is real camaraderie here and it pours across the audience. They look happy in each other’s company and the final sing-along put their fine communal work on display. Sydney Arts Guide
So the cast of Kirby Burgess, Tyran Parke, Adele Parkinson and Shaun Rennie were worked off their feet as they buzzed between roles…Parkinson is amusing as a girl obliged to spend a first date rock-climbing, and Burgess as a sexy stewardess luring an A-list movie star into the mile-high club. Better still is Book Group 1984, with Parke as a jittery librarian meeting the likable Rennie. Parke also charmed in If My Name Was Harvey. John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald
It is a rare thing to witness a genuine four-hander in theatre, yet Love Bites is an excellent demonstration of the power such a balance can carry. Individually each of Kirby Burgess, Tyran Parke, Adele Parkinson and Shaun Rennie shine as they mix and match to create each of the eight couplings and it would be remiss to highlight one over the others. Then like some vocally-malleable Voltron, they come together for the opening and closing numbers to each act, stronger than the sum of their parts. The opening to the second act in particular is exquisite to behold. Time out
Performed by just four people, LOVEBiTES certainly showcases the vocal and dramatic versatility of its cast and is well served here by a terrific line-up: Kirby Burgess, Tyran Parke, Adèle Parkinson and Shaun Rennie. Overall, this is a fine production of a beautiful little show and well worth a look. Jo Litson, Sunday Telegraph
When it comes to love, there are two sides to every story. Hayes Theatre Company’s latest production, LOVEBiTES, is a funny, touching look at different types of love…The first act kicks off with a cheery, bouncy opening number before introducing the seven couples (played by Kirby Burgess, Tyran Parke, Adele Parkinson and Shaun Rennie) in various meet-cutes…The second act is much more sombre, as the audience finds out from the other halves of the couples how things turned out. You think you know what to expect, but there are some clever twists. Parke and Rennie have a huge amount of onstage chemistry as a gay couple who meet at a book club but can’t get married in Australia (sadly, still just as relevant today as it was in the ‘90s when the show made its debut), and the biggest laughs come from Annie (Parkinson) and Kevin (Rennie) – a couple based on a cringeworthy urban legend.
The characters are played by a cast of four — Kirby Burgess, Tyran Parke, Adele Parkinson and Shaun Rennie — who all get plenty of chances to show their dramatic and vocal chops. Parke and Rennie are the more experienced of the four, and they turn in excellent performances…It’s a beautiful piece of musical theatre writing, with perfectly defined characters, lyrics that sparkle and shifting relationships between the two actors.
The cast is exceptional. Bringing considerable experience and ease on stage are the men, Tyran Parke and Shaun Rennie, who are known for a certain smoothness, a fluidity in vocal delivery. Parke has a particular knack for affectionate nervousness and quiet, honest neurosis – his two best scenes elevate awkward to a gentle art. Rennie’s warmth comes less complicatedly; he is placid, or cocky, but always with a self-assured trace in his centre; Rennie is big picture and Parke is detail. They work well together, a good complement in the cast. Aussietheatre.com
Tyran Parke is widely admired by musical theatre audiences thanks to a considerable body of excellent work; he’s probably the best-known cast member of LOVEBiTES. Others, with talent to burn, truly deserve to be more widely known…The versatile LOVEBiTES company traverse comedy, pathos, humanity and downright screwball, across solos, duets and ensembles, in this enjoyable intimate evening of all-Australian musical theatre talent.
There has been considerable buzz around Tyran’s various directing projects recently including the musical, “Our House”;
“Tyran Parke is an increasingly formidable presence in the world of music theatre with deadly instincts and a reputation for making straw turn into gold…With director Parke now the lightning antennae for multiple successful independent musical productions (including the smash hit Victorian tour of Assassins this year), smart money and good networking will bring this show before some seriously cashed up eyes in the new year. It’s a bold move given the band behind the music barely scratched the surface in Australia. But then as anyone who knows Tyran Parke well can attest – tell him he can’t do something and without doubt he’ll go right ahead and do it anyway!” Diva knows best.
On a Night off From Lovebites, Tyran recently appeared in the All-Star fundraising concert for the Actors Benevolent Fund at Opera Australia singing “Don’t Cry Out Loud” from The Boy From Oz…
“Can we call Tyran Parke one of the lucky Australians please? The man has one of the most pleasing tenors you’re ever going to hear. His high notes are light and smooth, and while he knows how to go all jazz hands – he still has machismo. The gay men of the music theatre who would kill for this gift! Beautiful rendition of this 80’s Peter Allen hit.” Diva Knows Best
In May this of 2014 Tyran premiered his long awaited newest cabaret show, ‘Children and Art’. the piece was commissioned by The Art Gallery of NSW and sold out receiving this glowing review reprinted in full…
“Tyran Parke never fails to astound and delight in live performance. His new one man show Children and Art, which debuted at the Art Gallery of NSW on Friday is no exception. A masterful creation of subtle skill and emotional depth, this cabaret has to be one of the most emotionally honest and shattering to be seen on a Sydney stage in years.
Though the Art Gallery of NSW is not your perfect cabaret venue, it makes a magnificently atmospheric room for an evening of good music, and Tyran Parke and musical director Luke Byrne were more than up to the challenge. Surrounded by colour and the light of a fantastic ceiling art installation, Parke took his audience on a metaphorical tour about the gallery to some of his favourite works (as well as a picture by his own brother, photographer Trent Parke) that eventually extended into a tour of his own past. The central conceit is from Sondheim’s Sunday in the Park with George: there are only two things that we can leave behind us that will last, children and art. With honesty, with quiet, insightful emotion and with remarkable tenderness and skill, Parke then proceeded to display how this was true, by telling the story of his mother and what she left behind her.
Parke has three fantastic weapons at his disposal as a cabaret artist. First, his voice is stunning. A light and versatile instrument, he blazed through the endless wordplay of his opening number, ‘Putting it Together’ and spun images rich and rare in songs ranging from Disney standard “When You Wish Upon a Star” to a fantastically arranged rendition of Joni Mitchell’s ‘Both Sides Now’.
Second, Parke’s knowledge of music theatre and how to apply it on stage is effortless and instinctive. With new songs on display in his ubiquitous arsenal, he breezed through songs by Pasek and Paul, and even managed to make a song from Andrew Lippa’s recent and heavily derided musical Big Fish sound really quite fun!
Third, Parke’s skill as a storyteller is truly second to none. As he guided his audience through dark tales of his mothers sudden passing from a severe asthmatic episode and how each of his two brothers learned to cope in the aftermath, he created moments of stunning emotional clarity, joy, humour and pain. By the end of his rendition of the Don McClean standard ‘Vincent’, there was not a dry eye in the house, while his anthemic comic tour de force ‘Choose Happy’ continues to delight.
At a young age, Parke is a veteran of the music theatre and the cabaret stage who continues to go from strength to strength. Children and Art is once again a mightily challenging but brilliantly executed display of his capacity to write, to direct and to perform. It is with talent such as this that the independent music theatre scene in Oz has rebuilt itself in recent years and it is with endless fascination that we are permitted the joyful experience of watching them prosper and grow. At this stage Parke remains an absolute must see solo performer. Capable of writing a biographical one man show with genuine pathos, wit and power, he goes far, far beyond the oft delivered musical theatre performer singing his hits. It can only be hoped that other audiences around Australia will be able to see Children and Art and soon. But then with Parke a clamoured for favourite on stages in New Zealand, Australia and in New York, he’s no doubt got many a project ahead in 2014. Needless to say, if you see his name on a bill, grab a ticket. Oh and take your tissues.
You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be transported – and isn’t that what cabaret is meant to be all about?” Aussietheatre.com
Tyran has recently performed in the return season of Sport For Jove’s ‘Twelfth Night’ playing Feste the clown. The show played a short but very successful season at Paramatta Riverside Theatres in Feb 2014 and The Seymour Centre in March.
“The play’s music was newly set by Christopher Harley; there was more than the usual allowance, including a full-cast chorus of ‘Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day’ to open the show. Feste was played by the cabaret singer and musical star Tyran Parke, who sang exquisitely, but was also a dab hand with a wry or cynical line’. Reviewing Shakespeare.
“Tall Tyran Parke is terrific as the wise clown Feste, blessed with a sparking wit and a great voice. His finale ‘The Wind and the Rain’ is extremely moving. A jocular gag was Feste’s teasing of Cesario when, suspecting he is a she, begins to sing The Four Seasons song, ‘Walk like a man, talk like a man’ …Shakespeare’s TWELFTH NIGHT is a story of love and confused identity set against the backdrop of the 1960′s. With its beautifully detailed ensemble work, the production is very funny as well as being, at times, deeply moving . A delight.” Sydney Arts Guide.
“Twelfth Night is often noted for its songs and here, with Christopher Harley’s haunting tunes, Tyran Parke’s voice rings out clear and pure. More often than not sung a capella, Parke has a hint of a young Toby Schmitz about his Feste, and it makes his songs all the more poignant, just that little bit more melancholic and elegant, because of his cheekiness and warmth; it is Shakespeare’s genius as a writer and lyricist just as much as it is Harley’s skill as a composer that they all sound and work as beautifully as they do within the broader aesthetic context of Ryan’s production and the play.” The Spell of Waking Hours.
“Tyran Parke is exceptional as Feste, whose wit and comic timing is a real pleasure to watch. A particular highlight was Feste’s interaction with viola…Directed by Damien Ryan, this production of Twelfth Night is a clever combination of Shakespeare’s iconic words with a contemporary twist. The attention to detail is brilliant…Achieving that balance between the original and the modern is a tricky tight rope to walk, but Sport for Jove have the balance just right.” The AU Review
“Last things first. Five stars. Or five-and-a-half. If there’s any company other than Sport For Jove making Shakespeare live and breathe all over again, in new ways, I don’t know of it…Tyran Parke, as the inadvertently wise clown Feste, wears his mask well, as the comic conscience of the play and sings beautifully, to boot…Ryan’s Twelfth Night is bursting at the seems with fresh, imaginatively executed ideas, tricks and treats. Even the worst old school highschool encounters with the Bard would be assuaged by this production. Take someone who professes to hate, or not understand, Shakespeare. If they come out the other side of the same persuasion, well, I speak nothing but madman.” Crikey.com
“Taking Twelfth Night into the 1960s has given director Damien Ryan full rein to use his well-proven vision and creative imagination…The eighteen-strong cast works with high spirits and energy throughout this production. Their characters are strong and vibrant, even when they are moving props and transforming scenes. They establish an atmosphere of vitality that pervades the production and captures “the play’s wonderful sunlit holiday spirit and its bleakness, hated, revenge and madness”…There is so much that is innovative about this production. Yet, though fast and rollicking, it still maintains the introspection and melancholy that is the real heart of the play, and is made poignantly clear in Tyran Parke’s rendition of Feste’s final song, ‘The Wind and the Rain’ put beautifully to music by Christopher Harley.” StageWhispers
“And…Tyran Parke as Feste. A careless, grimy hippy with an angel voice, he speaks for all of us, and tells us, again, again, what we always knew — that love dies, age comes, and revenge, a stupid pastime, must at the last give way to song — and, in music for the ages but lately made by Christopher Harley, a composer of genius, he sings us down, down, into our glad graves, tenderly…my superlatives, my masters, are at an end. I feared I had seen its second last outing; but it is coming to the Seymour. It has won many prizes already. I beseech you, see it.”Ellistabletalk.com
“A particular high point and fascinating feature of this production is its constant immersion in music—on the radio, through records and, most notably, in Tyran Parke as the Fool. Choosing to structure the play around the songs of the Fool (beautifully arranged here by Christopher Harley) is an interesting choice, and one that works incredibly well…Parke’s voice is enchanting and melancholy, and numerous times throughout the play I found myself wondering when the Fool would sing again. It feels as if the players are almost constantly in song—not quite a musical, but a performance knitted together with a kind of unspoken magic. It’s playful, and youthful, yet wonderfully wistful, and we’re constantly brought back to the play’s tentative sentimentality by Parke’s sad lilt…Sport for Jove’s Twelfth Night is wonderful, really. It’s an enjoyable and poignant portrayal of youth in love that expertly walks the line between humour and sentiment.” honisoit.com
Last year Tyran performed his acclaimed cabaret show, ‘A Light in the Dark’ in Auckland to a sell out crowd and this glorious review reprinted in full;
I will start by saying that I like musicals. I grew up with musicals, my mother is a big fan; Oliver, The Pirates of Penzance, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Chess, Chicago, and her absolute favourite: West Side Story. Mum would turn the volume up as loud as it could go while the three of us danced and sang around the living room. As a result I have my own favourite musicals and a firm appreciation for the genre. I am looking forward to this show!
Though I am not ‘up’ on the play when it comes to Tyran Parke, the impression I get from the noisy capacity crowd is that there are plenty of people who know exactly who Tyran Parke is. Which is exciting to me. I love the build up to a show when I can almost take a bite of the electricity in the room.
Here we are, an ebullient bunch who have braved some of the worst driving weather of this odd autumn. As such everyone takes a while to get their seats and settle so the show goes up fifteen minutes late, any tarry over that disappears as soon as I hear this man’s incredible voice pouring out the sweet opening lines of ‘Something’s Coming’ from the Song Cycle Brick Walls and Waterfalls by Christopher Harley. He isn’t even on stage yet I am captured by the power of his voice. I get a stab of excitement, all of a sudden I can’t wait to see the rest of this show.
He is quick to tell us he loves musical theatre; he ‘came out’ as a musical theatre fan during Sydney’s Musical Theatre Festival last year. I have to laugh as he bluntly says, “In the entertainment industry it is pretty cool to hate musical theatre.”
I think it is his genuine love of it that gives him such a talent for it. So why the heck not chart his memoirs with a collection of fabulous show tunes that make his already very touching personal stories even richer. This show is certainly not a collection of songs thrown together, this show proves that music is the most universally valid form of social and cultural expression.
I have to wonder if he has jumped the gun on himself writing a memoir show, given he is still in his very early thirties. My mind is changed by the living this man has done for his years. He has been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things.
A Light In The Dark is a beautiful memoir of Tyran’s life charting his journey from rural Newcastle Australia. We meet him as the young boy losing his mothe; as a thirteen year old watching Les Miserables. We share his letter exchanges with leading lady (Kiwi) Delia Hannah; we follow on with him to train in Perth and on further into his professional career as a musician, singer and actor, sharing the highs and lows of life on stage.
Here is this talented man pouring out his very heart to us in speech and in song. This is a genuinely sweet, heartfelt, funny show.
Tyran points out that he knows a few of the faces in the crowd tonight and on more than one occasion his audience bantering brings warm laughter rippling through the room. His song choice and singing is exemplary, each of the twelve songs on the playlist wraps around the fine silks of his life stories and is delivered with the right amount of lightness and shade to bring this hardened Hamiltonian to tears more than once.
His good humour also helps him immensely with the technical snags (the microphone stand comes apart, the operator misses a couple of lighting cues) then I get the feeling nothing could stop this man sharing this show with us tonight.
As the show draws to a close I reflect: Tyran Parke is an exceptional story teller with the gift of humility and boy can he sing. So what of his planned encore? I have to ask myself, “How does he top this?”
The house goes wild as, after much thanks and praise to his team in New Zealand (and yes, he loves it here!), he introduces ‘Seeing is Believing’ from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Aspects of Love (you know, the one where the young man develops intense feelings for the leading lady in a musical? Yeah, that one.) Which also happens to be my favourite Lloyd Webber musical.
As if that’s not enough he then brings to the stage the very leading lady who has been a massive inspiration over his entire career, Delia Hannah (who incidentally became a Broadway star playing the leading lady in Aspects of Love). Their voices sound made for each other as they beam out at us, every bit of them the stars in the room. It is beautiful to watch. As for the rapturous round of applause as they close, I doubt anyone was not clapping their loudest in appreciation.
Sensationally good cabaret, Tyran Parke is a genius! Theatreview.
Tyran started off 2013 with a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins- this time in the directors chair. The show produced by Watch This played at 45 Downstairs in Melbourne and was a complete sell out. It also garnered some pretty sweet reviews;
Director Tyran Parke has done remarkably well with this production of Sondheim’s lesser-known Assassins, first staged off-Broadway in 1990 and locally by the Melbourne Theatre Company in 1995….The final numbers are brilliantly realised.
This is social critique with high kicks and harmonies.
“Assassins was assured and imaginative, selling out its Melbourne season and is due to tour regional Victoria in October.” The Age (Feb 2014).
This production, by new company Watch This, captures the bizarre nature of the characters and the wry humour, political satire and moral commentary of the script… In a compelling, abstract world, killers from different time periods collide, sing about their obsessions, explain their motives through monologues, scenes and songs, including the poignant November 22, 1963, in which people recall where they were when Kennedy was shot.
Nadine Garner’s bold, comic characterisation of failed assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is hilarious, and her comic timing and delivery are deliciously wicked.
Luigi Lucente gives a compassionate, complex portrayal of Leon Czolgosz, the downtrodden factory worker who kills President McKinley as a political statement. The Herald Sun
Weidman’s book sparkles like it was written yesterday, but the showpiece here really is Sondheim’s score. Twenty-three years after its off-Broadway debut, it still packs a mean punch… Nick Simpson-Deeks as The Balladeer — who has possibly the prettiest voice in musical theatre — gets the best material in the show, sharing The Ballad of Booth and The Ballad of Guiteau with the respective assassins, and busts out his masterful acting chops in his eleven-o-clock transformation into Lee Harvey Oswald.
Nadine Garner as the manic, gangly Sarah Jane Moore is phenomenal. Her brilliantly bizarre line readings and switchblade-sharp timing are as good as anything on a Broadway stage. Aaron Tsindos as Charles Guiteau, is marvellous. You can’t take your eyes off his demented, egomanical, smiley-faced soft-shoe. Matt Holly is heartbreakingly good as John Hinckley, Jr. The cast are — for the most part — stellar… Shane Nagle as Samuel Byck delivers an incredible performance… The reveal of entirely different set pieces and a backdrop — the raw, window-laden wall of the space itself — towards the end of the show is brilliant… This is the first professional production of the show since the Melbourne Theatre Company did it in 1995; don’t wait 18 years for another one.
Mark Dickinson’s portrayal of John Wilkes Booth struck the perfect note between hilarity and tragic irony. Vocally he was powerful. He inhabited the role of the vain actor so completely that the audience felt as if they were living within the character. The duet, The Ballad of Booth, performed by Dickinson and Nick Simpson-Deeks, as the balladeer, was impeccable…Aaron Tsindos gave a brilliant performance as Charles Guiteau, endearing all the way to the gallows. Again Simpson-Deeks was called upon to chronicle the demise of Guiteau as the balladeer creating the second stand out number of the evening. Nadine Garner proved she has great skill as a comedic theatre performer with possibly the best part of the book, Sarah Jane Moore. She wonderfully brought to life a sad and forgotten housewife whom it was impossible for the audience not to love. Her comic timing was impeccable. And while we’re on the topic of impeccable comic timing, Shane Nagle rates a special mention. As a struggling Santa Claus and would be Nixon assassin, Nagle delivered his monologues with such pathos that you almost found yourself rooting for him to succeed in his plot… The set design was interesting- a carnival like environment artfully created with a shooting gallery of men in suits with targets for head, representing each president… Assassins is well worth the cost of admission to see the performances from the entire ensemble who managed to fully entertain for the duration. Stage Whispers
‘Everybody’s got the right to their dreams!’ With these deceivingly sunny words we are drawn into the grim world of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, a dark twisted carnival in which the murderers of history exist in a fantastical purgatory… Mark Dickinson as John Wilkes Booth brings a sonorous baritone and combination of Southern and Satanic charm to the role, quietly commanding every scene he enters. Nadine Garner is pitch perfect as Sarah Jane Moore, one of the two ladies who attempted to kill Gerald Ford, and her scenes with Sonya Suares as Lynette Fromme are a comic delight. The rest of the cast deliver solid performances… Director Tyran Parke is to be commended for his direction of the show, and his vision shines through strongly in the assassins’ individual songs and scenes … Parke and the cast do a fantastic job of humanising the characters and mining the comedic potential of the material.Theatre Press.
Tyran finished off 2012 with a season with Sport for Jove performing in three Shakespeare productions in repertory; Twelfth Night, Comedy of Errors and The Tempest. All three productions played outdoor and all to spectacular responses;
“It was a real pleasure to see Tyran Parke perform again as Feste, the fool. I had seen him last at his solo cabaret show, A Light in the Dark, and this performance cemented him for me as truly a diverse and skilled performer. As well as incredibly funny…Sport for Jove’s rendition of Twelfth Night was exceptional and highly entertaining. The perfectly chosen cast were brilliant and you really couldn’t have asked for a better setting for one of Shakespeare’s most loved plays.” The Near and the Elsewhere.
“Ryan’s accomplished, clear and free-spirited production is the play entire, close to three hours of knotty interaction that requires absolute clarity of intention from its performers as well as manic commitment to the absurdity of the plot… Tyran Parke is a tuneful Feste.” The Sydney Morning Herald
“This production of Twelfth Night is full of Damien Ryan’s usual verve and ingenuity. Performed as part of Sport for Jove’s ‘shipwreck’ trilogy, this production, as is usual with Damien, brought Shakespeare to life. Performed with clarity and passion the play is a must see for Shakespeare lovers and “past” haters alike.” Stagemilk.com
Tyran recently appeared in “A Light in the Dark” his first solo show in three years presented at the Sydney Musical Theatre Cabaret Festival. He received rave reviews from critics and audiences.
For “A Light in the Dark”, Tyran’s new one man show;
“Tyran Parke followed with a pacey show that captivated from beginning to end. To call Tyran an “up and comer” feels like something of a stretch seeing as he has hardly stopped working since he graduated WAAPA over a decade ago.
His cabaret A Light in the Dark easily exemplifies why.
Witty, dashing, open and energetic, Tyran takes great risks on stage and never fails to see that they pay off. A personal highlight in his show was a very different arrangement of the 20th century classic ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’, to say nothing of his encore – a comedic tour-de-force about stalking.
Here is a music theatre threat that goes beyond the traditional triplet of talent: a terrific actor, a solid dancer, a powerhouse vocalist – he is also an utter aficionado of his genre and it holds him in remarkably good stead on stage. His influences are extensive, well-researched and well-loved and the result is that he is one of the most watchable performers we have.” Aussietheatre.com
With further development, the show played The Vanguard in Sydney as part of the Australian Cabaret Series and will be seen touring Australia in 2013.
“Parke’s voice is faultless…it felt almost as if you were sitting in Parke’s living room on a normal Sunday night, glass of wine in hand. The actor, director and performer presented a candid glimpse into his life where he openly discussed his triumphs as well as his shortcomings with such vulnerability and honesty it was easy to be overwhelmed by it.” The AU Review
“Tyran Parke is one of Australia’s best voices: tonally rich with a clear and emotive timbre, this actor/director/performer has that wonderful gift of communicating story through song. It’s this strength that makes his cabaret, A Light in the Dark, a resounding success…Tyran’s emotional connection to this music theatre world informs his performance with a real sense of honesty. That right there is the appeal of A Light in the Dark, and indeed, a large part of Tyran’s onstage appeal in general: the truth in his performances; his ability to connect with the material…This was one-night only, presented as part of the Australian Cabaret Series, but next time you have a chance to see Tyran Parke perform, don’t miss it. Take it up. His appearances are moments in time that deserve to be savoured.” Aussie theatre.com
“This was an excellent evening of cabaret, or performance in any genre. It was a solid way to start the Australian Cabaret Series. Tyran Parke is a talented storyteller with a fine presence…All personal tales were honest, realistic, soul-searching and even appealingly self-deprecating at times. In typical cabaret style Parke’s stories continued between an eclectic range of numbers, but were also smoothly woven between verses of songs…This was pure entertainment. As a cabaret event it was slick and well-structured. It used Parke’s repertoire collected from experiences as an actor, musical theatre enthusiast and star, director and teacher…Tyran Parke’s well-paced cabaret tale hit the mark with its incredible range. Spoken and sung moments of comedy never failed…This was quality cabaret which was at no time pedestrian or clichéd. Such versatile artists are not to be missed.” Sydney Arts Guide.
Tyran was thrilled to perform at Light the Night at Angel Place in November 2012 to an enthusiastic response:
‘The skill and talent was immense — a strong reminder of all the musical and theatrical talent we have in this country…Several acts of the night are rightfully celebrated in their field…And then there was Australian theatrical darling, all-rounder Tyran Parke, who sang “I Will Remember”, written for him by contemporary New York composer Scott Alan for an upcoming project. It was a moment that stole hearts. Parke holds crowds in the palm of his hand.’ Aussietheatre.com
Aside from his own performance, Tyran directed members of the cast of his production of Next to Normal in their only Sydney showing given the show’s cancellation;
‘In a breathtakingly bittersweet moment — one of the best of the night — the cast of Sydney’s Next to Normal, a production which was supposed to premiere at the Capitol Theatre this year but was sadly cancelled, performed a tantalising medley. A look, it was called, at what might have been. And Sydney, we have missed out. Michelle Doake singing “I Miss The Mountains” was a revelatory experience, and bridging from “I Am The One (reprise)” into “There Will Be Light” was stirring, moving. That this production may never happen is incredibly disappointing, because from this number it was clear to see that the team had pulled together magic in their casting.’ Aussietheatre.com
A recent article about Tyran had this to say;
( the full article can be found at- http://aussietheatre.com.au/news/tyran-parke-is-a-light-in-the-dark/ )
‘To examine his career since he graduated from WAAPA in 1999 is to see a ceaseless string of shows. He has performed, written, workshopped, directed, taught and creatively consulted from coast to coast in Oz and from north to south in NZ. He’s played some of the truly great roles written for the music and all to utterly stellar reviews.’Aussietheatre.com
Tyran began 2012 playing the role of Jamie in The Last Five Years in Auckland to great acclaim;
‘If you could taste the superb performances of Parke and Moore, I think they would taste like the loveliest, creamiest chocolate dessert you’ve ever tried: rich, and full, and devastatingly delicious.’ THEATRE VIEW
‘Tyran Parke is a world class actor, his song The Schmuel Song, is unbelievably crafted, and both If I Didn’t Believe In You and Nobody Needs to Know are beautifully heart wrenching. As Jamie, Tyran matures from a hopeful unpublished author puppy of a boy, to an older and wiser, successful author being forced to conclude that the marriage between he and Cathy is at an end.’ STAGE NOISE
‘Tyran Parke has a more optimistic role as a successful young writer and he delivers a winning performance – most notably in the magnificent Schmuel Song which captures the uplifting spirit of shows such as Fiddler on the Roof.’ NEW ZEALAND HERALD
‘The fact this story is one that’s so heartfelt is as much a testament to the extremely clever scriptwriting and musical composition of Jason Robert Brown as it is to the depth of the actors’ ability. It’s easy to get swept up in the myriad of emotions expressed by Moore and Parke, who at various points had the audience laughing out loud. At times it’s hard to watch because of the destructive nature of the two characters who seem too self absorbed to really know how to love. After leaving the theatre, I couldn’t help feeling a little frustrated with them, not because the storyline was unconvincing but because the strength of their performances had engaged me enough to believe in their flawed characters – now that is exactly what I love about going to the theatre.’ CONCRETE PLAYGROUND
‘I’ve enjoyed regular Australian ditch-jumper Tyran Parke’s performances before, but here, in apparently something of a dream role, he really shines. His rich voice brings us with him on Jamie’s five year journey, capturing the heights of love, and then maneuvering into Jamie’s less than sympathetic conflicted character in the second half. Newcomer Cherie Moore’s stage experience is less extensive than Tyran’s and it does show – Tyran’s Jamie dominates the stage.’ THEATRE SCENES
‘Parke was particularly impressive in the Schmuel Song, where his characterisation switched between elderly Jewish man and a almost-camp magical clock. He made the character so lovable that I almost didn’t notice his selfish, patronising and desperate for adulation he often was.’ KISS MY ARTS
He received rave reviews for his performance as the male lead, Billy Crocker in ‘Anything Goes’ at the Civic Theatre in Auckland;
‘When he grins, Australian Tyran Parke as the affable romantic lead looks rather like a young Hugh Grant’. The New Zealand Herald
‘The deliciously choreographed ‘You’re the Top’ with Billy (Tyran Parke) is absolute magic and makes the most of Parke’s silky smooth style… Tyran Parke’s performance as Billy J Crocker, the Wall Street rookie, is fascinating. The ’30s produced the concept of the matinee idol and Parke doesn’t quite fit the bill. He’s no Valentino and he’s no Douglas Fairbanks Jr either but he’s a delightful leading man all the same. He sings up a storm, moves like a dream and his naiveté is truly touching so the fact that socialite Hope Harcourt (Delwynne Winter) falls for him is no surprise. What may come as a surprise however is the ease with which Parke holds the whole thing together. Very good work, this. Very good indeed’. Theatre View
‘In the role of Billy Crocker, Tyran Parke shows his versatility as a true leading man. He not only acts and sings amazingly but dances up a storm’.Stage Whispers
‘Tyran Parke plays the handsome lead with his boyish good looks chasing after his love “Hope” played by Delwynne Winter did a stunning job for such a big role’. View.
‘Tyran Parke plays the lovesick stowaway and is without a doubt the best of the male singers and enjoys a good chemistry with both of his leading ladies’. The Times Online
‘Aussie import Tyran Parke, who made his mark last year in Auckland productions of Sweeney Todd and Cabaret, makes a welcome return to our shores as Billy Crocker. He’s got something of a character actor look about him, but leading man chops n’ lungs, holding the whole ship together. Seriously, this guy is a talent – can we keep him?’ Theatre Scenes
‘Tyran Parke as Billy Crocker is a triple threat – strong bell-like tenor, capable and elegant dancer, and believable acting’. Kiss My Arts
This was followed by a successful season of the Cabaret show, ‘Keep Coming Back’ in Newcastle with Marika Aubrey and Kathleen Moore;
“It shows how busy the show business careers of Tyran Parke, Marika Aubrey and Kathleen Moore are that it has taken two years for the Novocastrian trio to find mutually suitable dates for this richly entertaining show…They deliver stunning performances of songs that have had a place in their work and lives, linked by amusing patter… There is rewarding variety in the songs. Tyran Parke, for example, sings a moving Where Did That Little Dog Go, from the musical Snoopy… There are duets that have the audience wanting more and medleys, which show how fresh familiar songs can be when delivered by very skilled performers. I left the theatre thinking how great it would be to see the trio in a fully-fledged musical. Hopefully, a canny producer will read this!” The Newcastle Herald
‘Tick Tick Boom!‘ In it’s professional premiere in Australia Tyran played the role of Jon for which he was nominated for his second Glug Award. The musical by the late Jonothan Larson has received rave reviews for Tyran;
“Parke is a delight as Jonathan, with playful self-deprecation and endearing charm from his first moment onstage that erupts with fervour into opening number 30/90. It is impossible not to follow Jonathan wherever he wants to take us; he is engaging, energetic, and sincere. It is uplifting, raw, and unflinching. A necessary night at the theatre.”
“The stars of the show: Tyran Parke, Justin Smith and Melle Stewart, are exceptionally talented. Each character they play make the audience feel instantly connected and drawn in to the unfolding events and developing relationships.”
Australian Stage On Line
“As Jonathan, Tyran Parke is charming, beguiling and quickly convinces that turning 30 before his new musical – the gruesomely named Superbia – has a chance to set Broadway on its head is an unthinkable horror. Parke is one of the best singer-actors we have and he’s perfect as the Peter Pan composer. (Jonathan is so anxious about the all-important workshop performance of Superbia he can’t even plink out “Happy birthday to me” on the piano and when Parke tells you this, you empathise rather than want to slap him.) It’s a classy production and beautifully performed.”
“Tyran Parke, on stage virtually throughout the show’s unbroken 90-minutes as the Jonathan Larson character, is a warm and engagingly neurotic. He also provides the show’s solid vocal anchor.”
For Much Ado About Nothing with The Bell Shakespeare Company;
“A welcome and delightful newcomer to Bell is musical theatre-cabaret star Tyran Parke. While he’s probably been cast because of an angelic tenor voice that makes emotional profundities out of Elizabethan “Hey nonny nonnies”, he’s also a fine actor who proves that he too can step up to the Shakespearean plate, given half a chance.”
Diana Simmonds Stagenoise.com
“Add music composed by Alan Johns – guitars, the piano and a beautiful solo by Tyran Parke as Balthasar; innovative direction from John Bell; creative movement from Gavin Robins; subtle lighting changes from Matt Scott, and you have a production that catches the audience and keeps them waiting for more fun right up until the lights come up at interval.”
“Alan John composes a terrific score that showed off the broad musical talents of the cast, with the hey-nonny-no of ‘Sigh no more, ladies’ smoothly crooned by Tyran Parke as Balthazar.”
“HUNTER-raised performers are certainly on the move around Australia, with openings in the past week showing just how widely they are acclaimed…Rankin Park’s Tyran Parke won praise for his role as Balthasar, a servant whose songs make ironic comment on the romantic pitfalls in Bell Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, playing at the Sydney Opera House Drama Theatre until May 14 (and directed by former Maitland boy John Bell).“ The Newcastle Herald
For Cliff Bradshaw in Auckland Theatre Company’s production of ‘Cabaret’.
“We could almost feel the buzz experienced by the very first, ‘first night’ audience when Cabaret premiered back in 1966 and one can almost imagine this is the kind of production writers Kander and Ebb originally dreamed of when they first envisaged their show…Tyran Parke as Cliff is serious, straight, seeing the action first through his rose tinted glasses then as the glasses and gloves come off, refuses to lose his identity and that of the woman he loves. In the end, though, he runs back home to the safety of Mother and we are left with a sense that Parke has portrayed a Cliff that has let Sally down, deserted her to the Nazi threat and thereby let himself and his ideals down. Dressed in permanent tweed and very much a wallflower compared to all that happens around him, Parke gives us the romance of a man in love then the tragedy of that same man still in love… A must, if only to say you saw this production when it’s spoken about in years to come.” Theatre View NZ
“This is the best production of Cabaret ever staged in Auckland and its setting inside the Spiegeltent on the Auckland waterfront – a party central for the licentious and depraved – is a brilliant combination of theatre and nightclub… Tyran Parke as Clifford Bradshaw is great as the Everyman/ Observer who watches his life and the ones around him collapse.” National Business Review
“American writer and innocent abroad Cliff Bradshaw (a terrifically pitched Tyran Parke)… With McCullagh’s spectacular choreography, the venue, the orchestra, the lighting, the staging, the costumes and exquisite performers together creating such vibrant chemistry, this is a spectacle that shouldn’t be missed.” The Listener
For Tobias in ‘Sweeney Todd’ for Peach Theatre Company (Auckland)
“Under the skilful direction of Jesse Peach, stand-out performances are delivered by Ross Girven as Sweeney Todd, Lynda Milligan as Mrs Lovett and Tyran Parke who plays the boy Toby, Mrs Lovett’s assistant. His angelic singing in authentic cockney accent gives his character a welcome Dickensian feel.” Theatre View
“The more lyrical side is nicely served by Nic Kyle’s sweet tenor and Tyran Parke as the innocent, long-suffering soul who finds the courage to end the butchery.” The New Zealand Herald
For ‘A Little Knight Music and other Melodic Quests’ at The Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
“In the tiny-but-intimate John Bishop room, Tyran Parke – who enters astride a hobby horse and brandishing a toy sword – starts out following the standard formula for a cabaret show (at least as far as this reviewer, a cabaret-naif, can tell); but, thanks to Parke’s personality, originality and talent, is a far more notable experience…The highlight is a haunting rendition of ‘The Windmills of Your Mind’, originally from the soundtrack to the ‘The Thomas Crown Affair’ and perhaps most famously covered by Dusty Springfield, on which Parke puts his own spin – with spectacular results…A funny, moving, genuine and thoroughly entertaining performance.”Adelaide theatre guide, Review by Jamie Wright
For the same show in New York,
“Tyran Parke totally charmed his Don’t Tell Mama audience…. With a warm personality and a clear, wide-ranging tenor voice, the visitor from “down under” chronicled his small town origins and his path to stardom in Australian musical theater. Parke’s lyrics to his Man of La Mancha opening, “My Quest,” substituted his own life’s passion: to succeed as a performer. Long before the show was over, as far as everyone in the room was concerned, it was a done deal… There have been scant few cabaret debuts as good as this one; commandingly sung and alternately interesting, funny and touching”. Peter Leavy, Cabaret Scenes
“Tyran Parke has traveled from Australia with a strong, vibrant baritone and an abiding childhood dream to make it big in a Broadway musical…. A lanky lad with a wide smile and innumerable awkward-cute gestures, he looks to be perfect casting”. David Finkle, Backstage
And in Newcastle;
“Parke, accompanied by pianist Nigel Ubrihien, combined song and spoken word well. While I have seen him frequently in musicals in Sydney in the past decade, his work in cabaret, which has been performed in capital cities and New York, revealed how impressively his voice has developed since he left Newcastle. His renditions of the Windmills of Your Mind and Finishing the Hat, the latter from his award-winning role in the Australian premiere of the Stephen Sondheim musical, Sunday in the Park with George, were standouts. And his capabilities as a storyteller were especially shown by the laughter, which greeted his account of working in a New Zealand touring company of Evita.” Ken Longworth, The Newcastle Herald
For his production of ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ (Director) at the Newcastle Civic Theatre;
“Director, Tyran Parke creates a vibrant 1880’s London, with the bright lights of the homes of the rich and the shadows of mean streets where a series of violent slayings are graphically depicted in MURDER MURDER, one of several excitingly staged ensemble numbers…the production is first class.” The Newcastle Herald
“A mix of magic, elaborate sets, strong leads and effective direction brought Newcastle Dramatic Art Club’s production of Jekyll and Hyde home. Director Tyran Parke utilised his vision, expertise and the skills of his cast to create a well-rounded night of theatrical entertainment.” Aussie Theatre.com
‘For Coffee With Kate- The Cabaret’ (Director)
WAAPA graduate Kate Walder finished her season of shows at the Seymour Centre in style last night, with a packed house at the Seymour Centre Sound Lounge. …The short but sharp show showed off Walder’s comedic wit, excellent timing and superb vocal skills. And spare a thought for producer/director Tyran Parke. He was skipping between duties with Walder’s show and appearing in the musical In A Pink Tutu next door. Aussie Theater.com
For Sunday In The Parke – Tyran’s CD
GOLDEN voiced Tyran Parke is one of a small handful of exceptional talents around at the moment. Equally at home in serious drama (most recently in Angels in America) as he is in musical theatre (The Hatpin, Sunday in the Park with George), and also a stylish cabaret performer in his own and other shows, Parke has recently released his first CD… The album, punningly titled Sunday in the Parke is a virtual aural calling card. On the one hand it’s a collection of his favourite show tunes and, on the other, an eclectic selection of work that demonstrates his range and ability as a singer and actor. Altogether, it’s a bold and unusual collection that tells you a lot about the singer and his ambitions. StageNoise.com
In the normal scheme of things, it might seem a long leap from Stephen Sondheim to Tim Finn but Tyran Parke’s silver voice flies easily between Sondheim’s “Finishing the Hat” (from brilliant musical, Sunday in the Park with George) and Finn’s plaintive “I hope I never” and on to Kurt Weil’s “Pirate Jenny”. His talent is undeniable. Sydney Morning Herald Oct 17th 08.
This sexy performer is burning hot and has ruled the musical and theatre scene for many years, which is fairly obvious in his debut album. Standout tune is You’re Already There. It makes you fall in love with him with only one listen. Sydney Star Observer
Parke, A young cabaret/theatre performer knows how to interpret a lyric with honesty and heart, and will win a whole new legion of fans with this splendid album of contemporary theatre songs. Stage Whispers magazine.
I can say that the CD is thrilling. It is fun to see that Australia is finally being acknowledged internationally for its uniqueness in musical theatre, and I can’t emphasize enough that Tyran Parke is one of the greatest exponents of the Australian musical theatre I’ve ever come across. His CD is heartfelt, unique, blending quite unexpected songs with traditional fare, although always with a personal flair… Parke’s warm, refreshing late-summer’s-day baritone is well suited for all these genres, not least because he is such a subtle yet strong interpreter of lyrics… This may very well be one of the albums that will establish Australia as an important nation in the world of musical theatre. Whatever its wider future role, it demonstrates Tyran Parke as a performer of both literally and figuratively border-crossing significance and level. Opera Sweden
Tyran Parke’s “Sunday in the Parke” is a superb collection of contemporary songs, mainly from music theatre, but not exclusively, which is destined be become a ‘must have’ addition to the record library of any music theatre buff. Dress circle radio Canberra
There’s a feeling of professionalism, passion and joy throughout the debut CD of music theatre and cabaret performer Tyran Parke. Sunday In The Parke is like a chilled white wine on the balcony of a beachfront apartment on a hot summer’s day. Parke’s CD is a superb mix of well-known songs, hidden classics and fresh, vibrant material. It is full of songs with meaning and heart, and Parke’s debut is very much a winner. AussieTheatre.com
And there most definitely IS ‘something in the air’ once again with this CD. Tyran Parke brings ‘something’ back into the ‘air’ of the Music Theatre and vocal landscape. Tyran Parke’s ability to be truly ‘present’ and ‘tell the truth’ leaves his audience changed, uplifted, open. And it does in spades, on this CD. Just listen to WINDMILLS OF YOUR MIND. It’ll change the way you wash the dishes. Make this CD your best friend on your iPod right now! Broadway at Bedtime.
(A) blend of musical theatre and pop continues throughout Parke’s 14-track disc, where Kurt Weill brushes up against Jim Morrisson, and a new generation of composers… who themselves combine Broadway traditions with popular musical vernacular, and are all handsomely represented… Parke’s tracks are carefully considered and emotionally delivered renditions… Luke Byrne conducts effective arrangements from a variety of artists who beautifully support Parke’s smooth, and often intoxicating, vocals. The disc might be difficult to track down in the U.S., but it’s certainly worth the search. The Sondheim Review (US)
For A Little Knight Music – Tyran’s Cabaret show
“Subtitled, “A Quest through Cabaret”, it is a cleverly sculpted autobiographical dash through first his childhood aspirations and his ensuing showbiz career… Parke’s light tenor simply glistens, with superb accompaniment by Nigel Ubrihien.” – John Shand, The Sydney Morning Herald.
“His personality and singing is a delight. A glowing performance”. The Age
“Parke has the charm to talk John Howard into joining a union” Sydney Morning Herald
“There is little doubt given Parke’s credits and the format of the entertainment that he has chosen to partner her (Madame Cabaret) in the role of actor singer. He has a wonderful voice, rich and vibrant that resonates with feeling. The songs he has chosen to dress her in for the evening are equally varied and joyous” Australian Stage Review
CHINKS IN THE ARMOUR and…or A LITTLE KNIGHT MUSIC
Friday June 13, 2008
A cold Friday night in Melbourne saw me trekking to, and getting cozy at, The Butterfly Club. I was there to see a Musical Theatre soul-mate, Tyran Parke, do his vulnerable, controlled and crafted piece of mini-Music Theatre. It’s genesis title was CHINKS IN THE ARMOUR, but take this knight errant to the Yale Cabaret Course in NY and the show comes out the other end of the prestigious Cabaret Course ‘Rinse Cycle’ as, A LITTLE KNIGHT MUSIC.
I have always found folk younger than 50 doing autobiographical shows a little ‘icky’. But while this show is just that – autobiographical – autobiography is simply used as a device to ignite a bonfire of universal themes and thereby collecting the entire audience with the performer.
From his first entrance on a Hobby Horse, we are all asked to ‘tilt at windmills’ with Ty – and Tyran’s life – as he launches into the show’s under-pinning anthem – ‘I am I Don Quixote, The Man of La Mancha’. And we did. But it was not too long before we found the windmills of our guts having a bit of a churn as well. Not because we were being harrowed. We were being filled with joy.
Tyran’s father’s life advice to ‘Accent-chuate The Positive’ quickly became the vital ingredient of the 3 part epoxy of this show. The other two parts were Parke’s innate instinct for ‘balance and harmony’ and an elite ability in tight-rope walking the razor’s edge or emotional control (I have to say my emotional control was totally absent throughout the night. I laughed and cried and was reminded of what the kinaesthetic experience of true Theatre/Cabaret should be. I realised too, how long it had been since I had felt like this).
There was another element that rumbled beneath this performance: the desire to leave some sort of a footprint in this lifetime. In this regard, Tyran’s rendering of the Flaherty and Ahrens ‘I WAS HERE’ was, well, gutting.
Equally, the emptiness that can be felt by any theatre builder was so palpable in his smouldering version of Peggy Lee’s ‘Is That All There Is?’.
I pray that our young get to see this sort of calibre of construction, performance and heart often enough so that our audiences of tomorrow may be secure.
To be honest – I like the first title better. CHINKS IN THE ARMOUR. It was being able to see into those chinks that made the whole evening so fulfilling. So Inclusive. So Cabaret. So Theatre. So Tyran Parke.
Next time he does this show, pillage to get a seat!
For George in Sunday in the Park with George
“One solid pillar of the production is Tyran Parke, who brings great verve to the dual roles of Seurat and his fictional great grandson”. – Troy Lennox The Daily Telegraph 13/03/07
“Tyran Parke reaches some fantastic high’s in the show’s lead role….his performance is stellar, particularly when it comes to his acting which never lets him down” Troy Dodds, Aussie theatre.com 9/3/07
“In a glowing performance, Parke creates a likeable and vital George so we sympathise with his tussle between painting and Dot” John Shand The Sydney Morning Herald. 10/03/07
“Tyran Parke delivers a commanding portrayal in the lead” Bryce Hallet The Sydney Morning Herald 17/03/07
“Tyran Parke has said that he was born to play the 19th Century French painter Georges Seurat…the Q Theatre’s production shows that he was right. His performance as the painter obsessed with his art to the extent of fracturing his relationships with family and friends and especially the woman who loves him, is flawless.” Ken Longworth The Newcastle Herald 14/03/07
“Parke and McKenna are both excellent in demanding acting roles and in making something out of James Lapine’s book”. – Jason Blake The Sun Herald 18/03/07
“The central figures are George the artist – and his model-muse-girlfriend Dot, acted and sung with charm and conviction by Tyran Parke and Aimee Mckenna.” Dianna Simmons, Stagenoise 14/03/07
For Angels in America
Standout performances from Angus King (Louis Ironson), Beejan Olfat (Prior Walter / Man in Park) Elaine Hudson (numerous roles, but at her best as Ethel Rosenberg) and Tyran Parke (Joseph Pitt / Prior 1 and the Eskimo) were highlights of the night, with each actor delivering strong, intelligent interpretations of these roles to rival the work of the top venues in Sydney. The energy and command of the script in these performances really rose to the demands of the text. Australian Stage Online April 08
For Listen to my heart
With the sheer excitement of Tyran Parke and Saskia Smith and the killer voice of Kaye Tuckerman, Listen To My Heart is already half way to being a fantastic show before the lights even go down. Aussie theatre.com April 07
For Mack and Mabel
Every performer has an opportunity to shine and several take full advantage-among them Tyran Parke as Frank Wyman. The Herald Sun Melb. 24th August 2001