Cabaret Festival Review: Kate Ceberano and Paul Grabowsky: Love Songs

Former Cabaret Festival director Kate Ceberano and former Adelaide Festival director, Paul Grabowsky are old colleagues. So it’s good to see them together in a show of love songs.

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Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 24 June 2016

Former Cabaret Festival director Kate Ceberano and former Adelaide Festival director, Paul Grabowsky are old colleagues. So it’s delightful to see them pull together this show of love songs, chosen by their family and friends.

This unusual mode of curation has led, not surprisingly, to an eclectic collection. Some of the standards were there, such as The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, but so too were Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne and Tiomkin and Washington’s Wild is the Wind, made famous by David Bowie. Other oddities thrown into the mix were Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now (but only two verses) and a tribute to Cilla Black.

Ceberano’s singing was sweet, and she lent some interesting interpretations to the work. But she lacked power and, dare I say it, pizzazz. Grabowsky’s playing was beautiful: subtly jazzy, with a touch of Michel Legrand. This was particularly helpful when they did a medley of French film music, including Legrand’s Windmills of Your Mind.

Other than being about love (which covers about 80% of all music ever written), there was little to tie these songs together. The show would have improved with more of a thread and/or some stories about the songs.

The audience was appreciative, but the somewhat passionless performance told in the applause, which, although peppered by the odd stander, was generally merely polite.

A pleasant enough night out, but overall, disappointing.

Reviewed by Tracey Korsten

Rating (out of 5): 3.5

Venue: Dunstan Playhouse
Season: 24-25 June
Duration: 50 minutes
Tickets: $39.90- $59.90
Bookings: Book online through the Adelaide Cabaret Festival website or phone BASS on 131 246

 

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