Cabaret Festival

Cabaret Festival Review: Amber Martin in Bathhouse Bette

This is a show that will have you jumping for joy and it will make your hands hurt from clapping along to a delicious song list that brings the early life of Bette Midler alive


Presented by Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Reviewed 11th June 2021

From the moment that Amber Martin explodes onto the stage of The Famous Spiegeltent you know you are going to have a very good time. In fact, from the moment the three very talented musicians step onstage in bathrobes you know it’s going to be a fun ride! Then Amber does Friends – and believe me she does Friends!

This is a show that will have you jumping for joy and it will make your hands hurt from clapping along to a delicious song list that brings the early life of Bette Midler alive for a lot of mature folk (like me). But more importantly a whole new generation will be introduced to the songs and energy of Bette Midler through Amber Martin’s hour long journey of non-stop brilliance. She sings her heart out, moves like Bette moved when she was 25, and she’s honest enough to tell you how it feels to be playing a 25 year old at 50. And to top it all reveals everything, very stylishly.

In 1973 a friend of mine came back from New York, I was living and working in The West End at the time as a young actor, and he brought me back the The Divine Miss M album as a gift for looking after his apartment whilst he was away. I was a dedicated Midler fan from the first time I played it! Amber’s performance took me back to the heady days of the seventies and the faithful, stylish reproduction of the songs from the Divine Miss M and the Bette Midler albums were sensational. Amber Martin could hold a bathhouse to ransom today just like Midler did in the seventies.

Back to Amber’s show. The staging was flawless, the lighting and sound impeccable, the choices of songs and delivery were just full of the chutzpah of Midler at her best. And of course, the Sophie Tucker jokes – they still work Amber, and they are very funny.

Her back up dancers, Mario and Launce, (I presume that’s how you spell it? But who cares when the eye candy hits just the right spot) well, they were worthy of the line “these are my back-up boys – back up, boys”. They added a flair and energy that brought us right back to where the inspiration for the show came from and worked as a foil for some very sexy staging.

I got so carried away watching this slice of nostalgia I stopped taking notes, so the only name that I can add to the list of musicians is Henry Koperski, the New York based pianist who led the sensational three piece backing band. These boys were just fantastic. Nuanced, stylish and very talented and the ideal support for the voice of Miss Martin!

So, if you want to know a bit more about Bette Midler, hear some very faithful and exciting renditions of some of the songs she made famous, including Do You Wanna Dance, Superstar (before the Carpenters commercialised it) I Shall Be Released and many more old Midler favourites, don’t miss this sensational show. There are many more treats in store that I just don’t want to give away, but the Tom Waites song, wow!

Just get your best bathrobe out of the closet and scream your way to The Famous Spiegeltent before Amber leaves town. In fact, I think we should keep her, she is just amazing, and you will have the best time.

Reviewed by Adrian Barnes

Star rating out of 5: 5 stars (they wouldn’t let me give it ten)!

Venue:  The Famous Spiegeltent, Adelaide Festival Centre

Adelaide Cabaret Festival Season: Friday 11th June – Sunday 13th June 8.15 pm

Bathhouse Bette National Tour Presented by Adelaide Cabaret Festival:

Wednesday 16 June and Thursday 17 June at The Butterfly Club, Melbourne.

Wednesday 23 June at Claire’s Kitchen, Sydney.

Saturday 26 June at The Naughty Noodle, Ettalong.

Wednesday 7 July at The Tivoli, Brisbane

Duration: 1 Hour

Tickets:  Adult $59.00 Conc $54.00

A one-off service and handling fee of $8.95 applies per transaction


WARNING: Coarse Language, Haze Effects, Adult Themes, Nudity

Photo Credit: Dan Fortune

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