Thursday, 21 June 2018

Opening Gala, Melbourne Cabaret Festival, June 19, 2018 ****

At Chapel off Chapel, Tues June 19 only (Festival runs to July 1) 
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 
Review also published in Herald Sun Arts /Entertainment online on Wed June 20 2018 & later in in print. KH
For information about these and other festival shows:
Dolly Diamond - Gala - pic Sanjeev Sing

The Melbourne Cabaret Festival caters to diverse tastes, with its program of saucy sirens, sultry divas, classical strains, original songs and pop tunes, and the opening gala, hosted by wicked Dolly Diamondprovides a taster.

The smoky-voiced Alyce Platt, former 80s game show star, sings diverse songs – a sultry, country-influenced ballad, Someone's Daughter, and The Motels’ hit, Total Control – and she links her tunes with teasing tales of her early life in the fast lane.

A startling detour from the usual cabaret fare is Max Riebl's remarkable countertenor, and he applies his thrilling voice to an Elvis tune then stuns the crowd with a soaring rendition of Handel's classical Con rauco mormorio.

Accompanied by Jamie Burgess on piano, Justin Clausen delivers a mean version of Celine Dion’s The Power of Love followed by a sassy, hip-wiggling River Deep, Mountain High.

Drew Downing is charming and engaging at the piano, accompanied by backing singers and musicians, performing Brian Wilson’s songs, including God Only Knows, Surfer Girl and Help Me Rhonda.

 Erin Hutchinson and Tyler Jacob Jones do quirky, original material about Things That People Do To Survive, and the evening finishes with platinum-wigged, vivacious and bold-voiced Danielle O'Malley channelling Nancy Sinatra singing her classics, Bang Bang and These Boots Are Made For Walking.

Alyce Platt – Someone's Daughter
Max Riebl – Hard to Handel
Justin Clausen and Jamie Burgess – He's Every Woman
Drew Downing – God Only Knows: The Songs of Brian Wilson
 Erin Hutchinson, Tyler Jacob Jones and Joshua Haines – What Doesn't Kill You [blah blah] Stronger
 Danielle O'Malley – Nancy Sinatra: You Only Live Twice

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