The audience knew this was going to be good from the moment Brian d’Arcy James walked on the stage. He was friendly, self-effacing and happy to be there but, when he began to sing, it was obvious why he is such a popular Broadway performer with several awards to his name.
d’Arcy began with She Cries from Songs for a New World and he went on to cover songs from Sting, Billy Joel and several others, breathing new life into each one. He talked a little of where he is from, Saginaw Michigan, and of the place that his birthplace has in music history. Several pop and folk songs make reference to Saginaw and apparently it is hometown to composers like Gerald Marks, Isham Jones and Stevie Wonder. He gave us renditions of their songs, All of Me, It Had to be You and Isn’t She Lovely, all beautifully delivered.
He spoke of his love of Broadway musicals and pop, and how much of a cross over there is. He sang more Billy Joel and a little Phil Collins but was no doubt at his best reprising songs from his favourite shows. He talked of Steven Schwartz and auditioning for Marvin Hamlisch in his living room, and he sang I Can’t Hear the City from Sweet Smell of Success and A Light in the Dark from Next to Normal, possibly the highlight for me. We were also regaled with stories of d’Arcy’s adventures with make-up in his latest starring role, Shrek.
This was a wonderful chance to see a versatile and very talented perfumer who I hope will return for another season next year.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William St, Adelaide
Season: 18-19 June
Duration: 70 mins
Tickets: $27.45 -$54.90
Bookings: Book online through the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website or phone BASS on 131 246