book now   

Tim Draxl in


Tuesday 17 March to Sunday 22 March, 2015

"Glorious....Freeway is as fine a piece of cabaret as has been hatched in Australia. It generated that singular combination of emotional brittleness and tender romance"
Sydney Morning Herald

tim draxl 400THE award-winning singer/actor Tim Draxl makes a much-welcome return to the Sydney stage in the acclaimed musical play Freeway – The Chet Baker Journey at the Hayes Theatre Co from 17 March 2015. It is part of the inaugural Spectrum Now festival presented by ANZ, for which stage and screen actor Richard Roxburgh is creative director.

Conceived and written by Bryce Hallett and Tim Draxl, Freeway began life at the tiny yet legendary jazz and music club El Rocco in Kings Cross in October 2010. It has since earned rave reviews at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Sydney Opera House, the Melbourne Festival and, most recently, the Brisbane Festival where the show enraptured audiences in the Spiegeltent.

Freeway is packed with sensuous ballads and classic songs, including My Funny Valentine, My Buddy, Let’s Get Lost, These Foolish Things, You Don’t Know What Love Is, Look For the Silver Lining, Born to Be Blue, The Thrill is Gone and There Will Never Be Another You. The intimate and spare production intersperses fragments of the singer and trumpeter Chet Baker’s radiant career and self-destructive life amid his musical jewels - the “blue diamonds of jazz” - that speak of yearning, heartache, despair and love.

The hand-picked band comprises some of Australia’s most accomplished musicians: the legendary Ray Alldridge on piano, trumpeter Shannon Marshall, bass player Dave Ellis and Dave Goodman on drums.

Upon collaborating with Draxl to create Freeway, writer and journalist Bryce Hallett (who wrote the concert drama Rolling Thunder Vietnam) said they chose not to dwell unnecessarily on Baker’s demons. “Essentially we wanted to reveal his power to enchant even when his life was at its craziest and spinning out of control,” Hallett said. “Freeway partly aims to draw audiences back to the intoxicating romance of the ‘50s but there’s no escaping Baker’s torment and self-destructiveness.”

"Chet Baker’s story is packed with the kind of stuff that makes Hollywood producers salivate. Freeway has become the stuff of legend."
Australian Stage

In his late teens and early 20s, Chet Baker looked like an angel and sang and played trumpet with spell-binding assurance and ease. His music had the power to conjure beauty out of ruin while the fragility of his voice, at any tempo, was both heart-breaking and true. From his emergence in the 1950s - when the handsome young man from Oklahoma became an overnight sensation as a jazz trumpeter and singer on America’s West Coast - until his drug-related death in Amsterdam in 1988, Chet Baker’s music-making and drug-addled life has attracted attention the world over. At once magnetic yet elusive, Baker was dubbed “the James Dean of Jazz” at the height of his success, his matinee idol looks and musical sensitivity seducing young and old alike in the ‘50s. Baker was the prototype of cool in the 20th century.

"Draxl and Hallett show a gentle respect for Chet the artist rather than the addict. It’s his remarkable music they wish to showcase rather than ridicule him for his failures."
Australian Stage

Tim Draxl began his career at the age of 17 when he went to New York and soon found himself singing in
its famous cabaret rooms, including The Algonquin. At the age of 19 he won the prestigious MACaward (Manhattan Association of Cabaret and Clubs) for “best new cabaret talent”. Tim has recorded four albums: the first two with Sony, including Insongniac, which was the last completed album musically directed by the legendary Peter Matz, and My Funny Valentine, a showcase of the songs in Freeway – The Chet Baker Journey on Fanfare Records. Tim has achieved prominence as a stage and screen actor in Australia and in the United States. He starred in She Loves Me for The Production Company, The Sound of Music for the Gordon Frost Organisation (GFO), in Nailed at Griffin Theatre and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Benedict Andrews at Belvoir St. Tim’s film and television career has been extensive. In Australia he featured in Dirty Deeds with Bryan Brown and starred in Swimming Upstream alongside Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis. Tim played the lead in the ABC/ Channel 4 mini-series The Shark Net and in Travelling Light with Pia Miranda. He appeared in the mini-series Mrs Biggs, about the wife of the infamous train robber Ronald Biggs, and in the drama series Serangoon Road. Tim also starred in the romantic comedy A Few Best Men, directed by Stephan Elliot, co-starring Xavier Samuel and Olivia Newton-John.

Tuesday 17 to Friday 20 March at 8pm; Saturday 21 March at 3pm & 8pm, Sunday 22 March at 5pm