The Adelaide Cabaret Festival’s latest Artistic Director, Barry Humphries, has salted this year’s programme with a majority of Australian and (more importantly) local talent. Although the likes of Adam Hills and Daniel Koek are international stars, they both hail from good ol’ lil’ Adelaide – as does the first cab (festival show) off the rank, David Gauci.
Gauci is big in statue and vocally, but not ‘big’ on national and international stages – yet! It Was Worth The Weight may just change that: it is everything a cabaret show should be – funny, moving and a disappointment that it is only 70 minutes in duration.
Gauci grew up in the Western suburbs of Adelaide (cue joke about Burnside) and has always been on the large size. He pokes deprecating humour at his own expense and shows how his size has been both a disadvantage and, of late, an advantage to him (understudying the role of Edna Turnblatt in the national tour of Hairspray for one thing).
His patter is priceless, especially when it involves his pianist and musical director, 20 year old Josh Belperio. Make no mistake, Belperio holds his own with the master: his disagreement with Gauci over the scientific inaccuracies of the ‘speed of light’ song from Matilda is hilarious, as is when he tells us about himself. Belperio is quite the little actor himself, as well as being a remarkable pianist.
Gauci’s singing voice is phenomenal and slips pitch and accent flawlessly from song to song. Every number is a highlight, from Shrek’s song from Shrek – the musical all the way to My Boy Bill (Carousel) and the beautiful standard, The Way You Look Tonight.
It is indeed heartening to see wonderful local talent finally being recognised, not just by illuminati such as Mr Humphries, but by the Adelaide populous who have made both of Gauci’s shows sell out performances.
It Was Worth The Weight was worth the wait and more than deserved the standing ovation it achieved on opening night.
Reviewed by Brian Godfrey
Rating (out of 5): 5
Venue: Artspace Adelaide Festival Centre, Adelaide
Season: 5 – 6 June 2015
Tickets: $24.90 – $34.90
Bookings: Book online through www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au or phone BASS on 131 246