“A good time” is how acting and singing talent Sophie Ross described Melbourne Theatre Company’s (MTC) critically acclaimed musical What Rhymes with Cars and Girls.
“Often, audience members will come and have a drink with us after the show, like they’ve known us forever,” she said.
“There’s no divide between performer and audience, which is the nicest feeling – it’s such a treat.”
Having come from a musical family, Ross said warming her vocals comes easy.
“Everyone in my family is either an actor or a musician, so for me it’s the perfect play. It feels a little bit like coming home,” the 34-year-old said.
“Even though I’m a trained actress, I’ve always sung and it’s very easy for me to channel my character because the character I play is basically my sister!”
The performance sees two lovers brought together by a conjunction of the stars and a pizza delivery gone awry. Tash is a smart-mouthed singer in a band and Johnno is a three-time loser from the wrong side of the tracks. But, what do you know? It’s love.
“Tash and Johnno’s story is similar to the traditional romance of Romeo and Juliet,” Ross said.
“When they meet they appear to be well suited but as the play goes on you find out there’s a class divide between the two.
“The play is such a good time. It’s a really beautiful, funny love story, but at the same time, gently looks at the classes in an Australian egalitarian society.”
The intimate musical gem weaves together the poetic songs from the ARIA award-winning debut solo album by Tim Rogers – the album which cemented the You Am I frontman’s formidable reputation as one of Australia’s premier songwriters – with words by award-winning playwright Aidan Fennessy.
“Tim’s music is so beautiful and I feel very privileged to even be in a room with the musicians,” Ross said.
“They’re absolutely phenomenal.”
MTC artistic director Brett Sheehy said What Rhymes with Cars and Girls going on tour is a testament to Australia’s desire for contemporary, home-grown works.
“When you combine a feel-good love story inspired by an iconic Australian album with some of the country’s most charming creative talents, you’re bound to create a type of magic that captures the hearts of its audiences, as it did when it premiered in 2015,” he said.
“I have no doubt that it will delight audiences right around the country.”
- 8pm from October 11-14 and 2pm on October 14, Riverside Theatres Parramatta, corner of Market and Church streets, Parramatta. Tickets: $38-$62. Bookings: 8839 3399 or riversideparramatta.com.au.