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It’s whimsical, weird and wonderfully melodic – Jay James-Moody’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever is the iconic musical you’ve never heard of.
We are raised to believe that when we find love, we find our home. That our ‘soul mate’ is our other half that completes us. On A Clear Day tells us, lovingly, that all one needs to be happy, is to be complete in oneself.
David (nicknamed Daisy) Gamble is trying to quit smoking for his controlling fiancé when he allows Dr Mark Bruckner to try hypnosis on him. When Melinda, a woman who lived and died in the 1920s, emerges from Gamble’s subconscious, newly widowed Bruckner faces a dilemma when he develops feelings for her, which deepens when Gamble develops feelings for Bruckner!
Jay James-Moody makes this show in every sense of the word, having produced, adapted, directed and taking on the lead role of David Daisy Gamble. There’s a beautiful sentimentality to his take on Alan Jay Lerner’s story; David, originally Daisy, is gender-swapped seamlessly, almost as if this version was in the writer’s mind way back in 1965. Burton Lane’s soundtrack is modernised without losing its inherent nostalgia or the iconic melodies of the original. Barbara Streisand musical hits played before and after the show, honouring her performance in the lead role in the 1970 movie.
As David Gamble, James-Moody’s depiction of this jovial, amenable man who realises he needs to live life on his own terms in intensely funny, and his sensitivity to peer pressures achingly relatable. His on-stage chemistry with Blake Bowden as Bruckner is dynamic, the two effortlessly balancing sweet, romantic moment after moment with comedy and farce. Bruckner is objectively not a great guy, falling in love with a woman inside patient’s head, but Bowden really invites you into the pain he feels being newly widowed, and his yearning for connection that invites you to enjoy the wacky plot.
Likewise, James-Moody and Madeline Jones as Melinda make a splendid partnership in their playful spin on the trope of split personalities and time travel. Regularly mirroring each other’s movements, and harmonising on some of the biggest songs on the soundtrack, they hit all the right notes. Their costuming is on the cusp of clashing whenever Melinda’s noticeably vintage style sits next to David’s geek chic on stage; something that united both of their outfits would have helped to imagine her living inside his mind.
Flowers are a recurring symbol throughout the story. Gamble’s a knack for growing goes a tad beyond a green thumb, and his fiancé’s, friends and Bruckner’s reaction to his gift tells you who they really are. Flowers abound on the set by Michael Hankin and Bellow Rose Saltearn, and the ensemble dress up as flower gardens multiple times throughout the show. This wackiness combined with nigh-operatic vocals creates a delightful mix of structure and whimsy, each performer perfectly hitting their character’s, and the story’s, sweet spot.
Purchase your ticket to On A Clear Day You Can See Forever here.
Viognier | Wine Pairing
Viognier is a varietal that puts floral notes to the forefront, because aromas and tastes of flowers must come from the wine grape itself rather than the winemaking process. You need to ensure the grape is growing in the right conditions and receives the right amount of care to blossom. I can’t imagine a more fitting varietal for On A Clear Day.
My Pick: Yalumba Samuel’s Collection Eden Valley Viognier 2021, SA
Designed to be a pure reflection of Viognier, this vintage by Yalumba features aromas and flavours of orange blossom and jasmine flower, complemented by stone fruits like nectarines and white peaches, plus a hint of ginger. A refreshing and relaxing drop.
On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Squabbalogic | Tasting Notes
|Aussie Season||17 Mar to 15 Apr 2023, Squabbalogic, Seymour Centre, Sydney NSW|
|Writer||Alan Jay Lerner, adapted by Jay James-Moody|
|Theatre Type & Genre||Musical, Screwball comedy|
|See it if you like||Weird and wacky love stories|
|Criteria for Wine Pairing||Prominent floral notes, light and refreshing|