By Justin Flynn

It’s described as a feel-good love story.
You Am I frontman Tim Rogers’ iconic album What Rhymes with Cars and Girls is brought to life in a stunning musical adaptation coming to Geelong Performing Arts Centre (GPAC).
Director Clare Watson teams up with Rogers and playwright Aidan Fennessy to deliver this love story with a twist.
“It’s such a nice show; it’s so warm hearted,” Watson said.
“It sounds cheesy, but it’s so full of love.”
The show is performed with Rogers himself leading a three-piece band to deliver every song from the popular album. Fennessy wrote the script.
The story revolves around Tash (Sophie Ross) and Johnno (Johnny Carr), two lovers brought together by fate – and a pizza delivery gone wrong.
It’s a vernacular story wound around Tim Rogers’ lyrics, an urban entanglement of a couple trying to work out love, passion and problems.
This story of two people who come from different worlds is a romance to soften the hardest of hearts and a reassurance for anyone who has ever been in love.
“The thing I kept getting told is all the people who watch it, can’t believe that they’re (Ross and Carr) not a real life couple,” Watson said.
“It feels like an authentic relationship in front of you.”
Audiences first fell in love with this urban romance when it premiered as part of the 2015 MTC season.
“It’s about making it fresh and new,” Watson says.
“One of the initial challenges was how do we make a musical seem less like a musical.”
Watson said it was an honour to work with Rogers.
“It’s been a sublime experience,” she said.
“He’s also such a generous collaborator. He understands what a theatre process takes, and he’s got a very wry sense of humour.”
Indeed, Fennessy is also a big fan.
“Aidan Fennessy, who wrote the script, it’s one of his all-time favourite albums and listens to it on repeat,” Watson says.
“We don’t spend any time anymore sitting down and concentrating on an entire album. There’s an entire album’s worth of music in this.”
What Rhymes with Cars and Girls plays GPAC from 21 to 23 September.

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