STAR: Cabaret and actor Paul Capsis will perform at Lismore City Hall as part of Tropical Fruits.
STAR: Cabaret and actor Paul Capsis will perform at Lismore City Hall as part of Tropical Fruits.

Five songs to get addicted to the nightlife

SINGER and actor Paul Capsis has just started to rehearse his role of the MC for next year's production of Cabaret in Sydney.

Capsis will also be the headlining act in this year's Tropical Fruits music program, now with two shows on sale during the festival.

This NORPA show follows the success of Alan Cumming's Sing Sappy Songs in 2015.

Like the elliptical plot of a great cabaret show, Cumming's most famous role, the MC at Cabaret, is also Capsis' latest stage project.

We asked Capsis for a list of five songs he includes in this show and why he chose them.

1. Back to Black (written and release by Amy Winehouse, 2006)

"I Take a different route with this songs, I do it in a Billie Holiday styler, really haunted, and get into the dark side of those lyrics that she wrote," Capsis said.

"Her version is up-tempo with a jazz feel, while my aim is to find another way to interpret the lyrics."

2. Get It While you Can (released by Janis Joplin, 1971)

"She released this song as part of the Pearl album, and with this one my main aim is to pay tribute to Janis Joplin," he said.

"She is one of the greatest singers of the 20th Century, and she has always been one of my primary inspirations as a singer."

"If I had never discovered her as a singer I probably would not have been a performer."

"She said the songs is about grabbing a moment because life is short, and that's a lesson for all of us."

3. Proud Mary (released by Tina Turner in 1988, written by John Foggerty and originally released in 1969 by Creedence Clearwater Revival)

"I am singing with a piano, played by Jeremy Brenner, I don;t have the big band, the brass and the Ikettes so this version is very different," he said.

"I am trying to get into the slow, swampy environment from the Mississippi River at that time," he said.

4. Ego is Not a Dirty Word (released by Skyhooks in 1975)

"The first ever album I bought was Ego Is Not a Dirty Word by Skihooks, I was obsessed with them," Capsis said.

"It takes me back to my childhood in Surry Hills in Sydney, and takes me back to a trailblazing band in Australia that was totally unique, there has never been a band like that in this country."

5. Beautiful Dreamer (written by American songwriter Stephen Foster (1826-1864) and published posthumously in March 1864)

"A good song is a good song, and this is a great one. This songs has been released by Doris Day, Roy Orbison and Sheryl Crow, among others," he said.

"I don't really like new music. Unless Patti Smith releases new music, I am not interested."