Presented by: Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Reviewed: 9 June 2017
Since she became a mega-star on Neighbours in 1986, singer and actress Kylie Minogue has captivated audiences. While her acting performances have fallen by the wayside, her musical talents continue to soar. The Locomotion became her first hit in Australia in 1987 which subsequently set her on a path to international stardom. Thanks initially to pop music producers Stock, Aitken and Waterman, Kylie’s songs struck a chord with listeners enjoying the simple melodies and soft beats. Like any artist, she outgrew her beginnings to establish herself as a respected icon in popular music with her catalogue of hits one many would envy.
It seems natural that Michael Griffiths would create a show around Kylie’s hit tunes. No slouch himself with inhabiting musical personas, as his shows for Cole Porter, Peter Allen and Annie Lennox attest, Griffiths is a performer truly loving his craft. Like Kylie, he admires the effort gone into developing songs for mass audiences that still gain multiple radio airings. His show Lucky – Songs by Kylie is a worthy tribute to the media named ‘singing budgie’. Whilst Kylie’s early tracks may sound like melodic nursery rhymes, they still have the spirited fun making them infectious listening. Griffiths knows this and has created an entertaining show that dazzled its audience.
Lucky: Songs by Kylie is an engaging journey through the many successes and tribulations of her life. Performing as ‘Kylie’, Griffiths captured her serious side as well as her determination to immerse herself fully in her craft. This doesn’t suggest the show was a sombre experience as it was far from it. But this gave an added edge to other similar works that presented the person behind the songs. Griffiths’ use of Hand on your Heart and ’Confide in Me perfectly encompassed Kylie’s mindset at certain periods. The emotions she felt effectively shone through the songs with Griffiths’ vocals doing them justice. Most of the classic Kylie catalogue got at least a brief airing with some re-worked to match Griffiths’ style of delivery.
Being a seasoned pro, Michael Griffiths ensured the audience had fun and they did. Bringing up one lady to join him in singing Especially for You brought cheers of delight. These cheers continued throughout, such is Griffiths’ great ability to engage with his audience. Arm-waving and dancing were clear to see with Griffiths the ring-master in a musical circus. He was ably assisted by his 4-piece backing band who were consistently excellent. There were a few missed cues here and there but they made the experience feel more natural than being a formally structured event. Audiences forgave such minor quibbles as Griffiths treated them with respect. His enthusiasm for the material was evident, as it is in his other shows, with his energy and amiable personality making this an easy show to watch.
Kylie Minogue will always be an Aussie treasure dear to many fans’ hearts. Her skills are wonderfully realised by Michael Griffiths and writer Dean Bryant who craft a more than worthy tribute. Those seeing his Kylie show will still be humming the tunes long after it ends with Griffiths onto a sure-fire winner.
Reviewed by: Patrick Moore
Rating out of 5: 5
Venue: Space Theatre
Season: 9 – 11 June 2017
Duration: 65 mins.
Tickets: Premium – $51.90, Adult – $46.90, Concession – $41.90, GreenRooom – $23.45
Bookings: Book online at www.bass.net.au or phone BASS on 131 246