A YEAR after close friends Michelle Zeimer and Mikhaela Musat celebrated their own weddings, they have drawn on the excitement and the headaches of the big day for a new cabaret-style show, The Big Dipper, as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
Zeimer and Musat will share their experiences of the “roller-coaster ride” of a new marriage, tackling everything from finding the right guy to the religious compromises that might need to be made to keep all sides of the family happy in songs and skits.
“It’s been amazing to be able to work with a friend,” says Musat. “The idea had been there for a while, but we actually started to write and work on the show last November.
“I’ve always loved doing comedy. For me, the hardest thing is tuning out the laughter from the audience. Laughter is contagious.”
Musat says that putting on The Big Dipper has been a lot of work alongside their jobs of teaching drama.
Both Musat and Zeimer come from performance backgrounds. Musat has been training in theatre, voice and dance since childhood. Both women have toured in the Unites States with The Meid’ls, a group like The Wiggles but with Jewish themes.
Zeimer has studied theatre in London, performed in cabaret shows at The Butterfly Club and Capers, and currently works on both screen and stage.
While they have performed together in the past, they are thrilled to be involved for the first time in the festival.
“We thought we’d give it a whirl. It’s really exciting to be part of something so big,” says Musat.
“I think that no matter what age the audience member is, whether they’re single, married, divorced, engaged … the characters that we’ve created on stage can relate to so many different people.
“It’s a time for people to sit back and have a bit of a giggle at other people, but being able to relate it to themselves in a way. Everybody loves a good song and dance. It should put a smile on their faces.”
Musat and Zeimer say that proceeds from the show will go to The Lighthouse Foundation and the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“Because we’re raising funds for charity, people have been so willing to help us out with everything. It’s been really amazing.”
The Big Dipper is at The Butterfly Club on April 3-7, 14 and 21. Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au.
REPORT by Phoebe Roth
PHOTO of Mikhaela Musat (left) and Michelle Zeimer in The Big Dipper.