Arts & Entertainment

The Carpenters from Kempsey – REVIEW

Darren Mapes as Darren Carpenter and Debora Krizak as Sharon Carpenter.

Darren and Sharon Carpenter made the long trek from country Kempsey to Paddington for a one night stand at Paddo RSL last Friday night and what a bonza show it was. 

Daz and Shaz are the alter-egos of Darren Mapes and Debora Krizak and the doppelgangers of famous pop siblings of the 1960s and ’70s, Richard and Karen Carpenter. Their show is a loving combination of tribute and parody. 

Dressed in brightly coloured, non-breathable synthetics, Daz and Shaz sing, with uncanny resemblance to the originals, the classic hits of The Carpenters, interspersing mostly faithful renditions with hilarious, ocker banter.  

Mapes sits at a Casio keyboard at the side of the stage energetically banging on the fake ivories while Krizak takes centre stage, swishing around in a flowing gown or majestically spreading her bat-wing sleeves – both defiantly indifferent to the risk of spontaneous combustion from the static electricity their clothing is generating. 

Darren and Sharon Carpenter

Despite the comic elements, once the duo launches into a song they perform it with integrity and a very high level of musicianship. Krizak’s voice is gorgeous and her delivery is sincere and captivating. Mapes is an excellent pianist, not just playing accompaniment but contributing his own idiosyncratic aspect to the performance. 

The humour often walks an edge, playing on a ‘Greg and Marcia Brady’ styled inference in their relationship and the tropes of of country folk, but its all done with self-awareness and a knowing wink. 

Krizak also uses physical humour, executed with such perfect subtlety that it catches you off-guard, doubling the impact. 

If you get a chance to see this duo when they are next passing through town, do it; they will share horizons that are new to you.

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