Cabaret Fringe

Cabaret Fringe Festival Review: 27 Black Dresses

27 Black Dresses, presented by Allegria at The Jade, on the surface seemed to be a choral concert, but this hour-long performance delivered much more than that.

4

Presented by Allegria

Reviewed 27 June 2019

27 Black Dresses, presented by Allegria at The Jade, on the surface seemed to be a choral concert, but this hour-long performance delivered much more than that.

Allegria, formed in Adelaide 11 years ago, is a 27(ish)-strong women’s a Cappella (unaccompanied) vocal group. Allegria is the Spanish word for ‘joy’, and that is exactly what this show delivered.

Accompanied by Gabrielle Lola on percussion, Allegria presents an eclectic repertoire ranging from The Manhattan Transfer (Trickle Trickle, The Boy From New York City and Java Jive), Billy Joel (In The Middle of The Night), through to Dolly Parton (Jolene) and even some Coldplay (Fix You). Each piece was incredibly well-rehearsed with great attention to detail. As an Adelaide-based musical director, I have worked with some casts who could learn a thing or two from this outstanding vocal group. The sheer joy and love of singing and performing could be seen on the faces of each member – the audience couldn’t help but smile and bop along in their seats with them.

Special mention must go to their incredible musical director, Angela Sharp. She has rehearsed Allegria extremely well during her time as their musical director. Diction was clear and precise, vowel shapes were moulded perfectly (depending on the style of each piece), phrasing was well executed, blending was perfect…my list of accolades could go on.

My only question at the end of the night was how the script that was presented by the MC throughout the performance worked with the repertoire and the overall performance. The general concept was good, but the script didn’t really fit with the songs being presented. A rework of the script would help.

Unfortunately, 27 Black Dresses was only on for one night (actually, a clever move putting your performances on the same night you rehearse!), but I strongly recommend you hit up Allegria’s website and book a ticket to their next performance. 

Reviewed by Ben Stefanoff

Rating out of 5: 4

One Night Only – Season Ended

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