Review | Laura Money
Musical powerhouse Michaela Burger (Exposing Edith) graces the stage once again, this time with a biographical tale of the most important person – her father. In Exposing Edith, Burger told Edith Piaf’s story through theatre and song – now she has dug deep into the roots of her family tree and shares the struggles, love and loss, hard work, and delights of her own family. Her father, Vincent Luke was A Migrant’s Son and Burger explores what that really means in an absolute triumph of song, dance and theatre. With original compositions, and beautiful community choirs led by the wonderful Carol Young, and an old suitcase full of memories, A Migrant’s Son is the heartwarming tale that will prompt you to go home and call your father.
When Michaela Burger set out to write this show, she wanted to showcase her father’s strength – through adversity, heartache, love – but as she dug a little deeper, she realised that his indomitable spirit came from generations before him. Beginning with her Yaya (Grandmother) and her journey to Australia at the age of 14 in 1936. Burger dons a gypsy-style long skirt (sequinned of course, this is a cabaret show after all!) and sings a heart-wrenching ballad about her grandmother’s apprehensions and mixed feelings leaving her homeland. She goes even further back to her Propappous (great grandfather) a man who left war-torn Greece to become a baker in Adelaide. The absolute passion and love that Burger injects into his character is overwhelming at times. She never met him but every word she sings in vibrant and full of love.
Every family has a story, and Burger tells her father’s story with heart – building up the fundamentals of his family and the work ethic drilled into him as a young boy baking and delivering bread for hours before school, to opal mining in Coober Pedy – this plucky, quick-thinking, soulful man is brought to life in the most stunning way possible. One of the most interesting elements of this show is how often Burger references Victor’s pride in his family – he sounds like an absolute character! From bursting with joy at his daughter’s wedding, to holding his first grandson with tenderness and trepidation, and even proudly declaring that his daughter was the best performer in Australia to any celebrity who would listen. But to me, the most touching part of the whole show is the pride that Michaela Burger feels for him.
A Migrant’s Son is a stunning piece of theatre. The music is simple, sweet and full of emotion – swelling to majestic heights with the voices of Indie Mix Pop Choir and the Dal Segno Singers. It is a spiritual experience to hear Burger’s clear and heavenly tones. She is passionate and loving and every note is sublime. Brimming with emotion, this exquisite show will pull on every heartstring and you will have to clap and cheer through eyes blurred with tears. This is one for the family.
WHEN: 13 – 16 February 2019 | 8:00pm
WHERE: Upper Burt Hall | Cathedral Square | PERTH
INFO: Tickets $30 – $35 | Duration 80m | Age suitability: PG | Content warning: Occasional coarse language | CABARET