See Robert Hofmann, "singer and female impersonator without compare" (Arts Hub 2019) morph into multiple fully-costumed comic characters without leaving the stage accompanied by the sensuous sounds of the piano accordion played by the legendary Cathie Travers.
What the Fandango?! is a musical-comedy cabaret where award winning singer Robert Hofmann (Best Cabaret, WA Fringe World 2014) morphs into five different characters accompanied by music director Cathie Travers on piano accordion. These fully-costumed characters each have their own experiences to share and compelling reasons to sing drawing from Robert’s own life and his 24 years experience as a professional singer including many roles with West Australian Opera. The show opens with Robert as Dr Gaye Thyme in a gorgeous South-American-inspired gown. He then breathes life into the fluro and feisty Helmut Wunderlicher who workshops standard love songs into same-sex serenades. Next comes the character who is often the audience favourite, the faith-inspired folk singer Susan “I know someone just like her” Higgins. Dr Gay Thyme then reappears to sing a torch-song in a 1940s-style red sequin dress. This glamour is contrasted by the austere and outspoken Sister Virgillious who risks being shut down by the church. In the final vignette, Robert appears as himself to sing his original epic Shirley Bassey-type song, What the Fandango?! which has the positive mental health message of living life in your own way despite the set-backs and confusion of everyday life. Most of the other music in What the Fandango?! is drawn from an eclectic range of brilliant songs by the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Noel Coward, Gilbert and Sullivan, Rogers and Hart, and Schubert as well songs made famous by Frank Sinatra and Bryan Ferry. There is a subtle south American flavour permeating the show which was inspired by the evocative playing of Cathie Travers, one of Australia’s finest piano accordionists.
Form and Style:
What the Fandango?! is presented in a series of six vignettes with Robert Hofmann playing a different character in a different costume for each one. All the wig and costume changes happen on stage and sometimes even while Robert is singing so the audience is never left waiting for him to re-appear during this one-hour show. The on-stage changes are facilitated by a "frock prop' upon which hang all the costumes and wigs needed for the show. Cathie Travers is also on stage for the whole show playing her very beautiful looking and sounding piano accordion.
Duration of performance: 1 hour
Maximum performances per week: 5
Weekly Fee $3,000 per performance.
Date the performance is available from: July 2019
No. people in Touring Party: 3
Bump-in Time: 1.5 hours
Bump-out Time: 1 hour
First Possible Performance: 2 hours after completion of bump-in/tech run
Minimum Break Between Shows: 1 show per day/evening.
Theatre formats: Highly adaptable
Minimum Stage Width: 3 metres
Minimum Stage Depth: 3 metres
Minimum Stage Height: 2.5 meters
Minimum Wing Space: NA
Frock prop (1.5m wide x 2.2m high x 0.5m deep, stool, guitar on stand, piano accordion stool, music stand
Staging Description: See above
Lighting - provided by company: None
Lighting Requirements - to be provided by venue:
Can work with simple white wash (as we did in the Ellington in 2019) or more elaborate theatre lighting: E.g. follow spot and/or centre special, UV/Black Lighting, different lighting themes for each of the six vignettes.
Audio - provided by company:
Piano accordionist provides: 2 x clip on microphones, mic pre-amp with phantom power and a small desk.
Audio Requirements - to be provided by venue:
PA System, 1 x wireless head-set microphone, 1 x DI Box and onstage power supply for piano accordion. OR can be done acoustically (i.e. no mics) if the venue has a good natural acoustic for unamplified sound.
No. of additional lighting staff required from venue:
1 x lighting staff (or one staffer show does both sound and lights)
No. of additional sound staff required from venue:
1 x sound staff (or one staffer show does both sound and lights)
No. multi-taskers required from venue:
Dressing rooms required:
One dressing room with mirror and toilets.
Professional Poster/Flyer Artwork
Sample Media Release
Robert can provide community master-classes in singing as he is a very experienced singing teacher who is kept busy teaching at his home studio, in two schools in Perth and he also teaches Music Theatre students at WAAPA. Robert has also toured extensively performing in schools in Perth Metro and regional WA with the West Australian Opera in Education program between 2010 and 2015.
What the Fandango?! is rated MA 15+ although parents have brought younger children who have enjoyed. The key audience includes people over 35, particularly women, people who identify as gay or lesbian, people who like musicals, fine music and female impersonators.
“There is so much talent and so much fun to be had at the Fringe…but if I must choose one outstanding presentation it would be, I think, Robert Hofmann’s What the Fandango?!.” ★ ★ ★ ★ ★Carol Flavell Neist, Arts Hub February 2019
“It’s all delivered with a luxurious flair for costume, a devout sense of character, and a classically trained operatic voice”. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★Brandan Taylor, Fourth Wall Media 17 February 2018
“…the pair blow all your cares away with their WTF celebration of being non-conformist” ★ ★ ★ ★Lezly Herbert, Out in Perth 15 February 2018