The age and Voice of Stephen - he's the One
Reviewed at the Griffins Hotel on 7 March 2019
Presented by Stephen Valeri
Every now and again the Fringe throws up a hidden gem; Stephen Valeri masquerading as Johnny Farnham masquerading as Stephen Valeri (well Stephen does prove he and John have a spiritual connection) is a really entertaining hour in the presence of this very vocally talented young man and his equally musically adept co-contributors Kellie-Anne Kimber on keyboards/vocals and Caleb Garfinkel on Guitar/vocals. They make some awesome noise. All the favourites are there from Sadie The Cleaning Lady to Touch of Paradise to yep, you guessed it, Age of Reason. You just need to pop along to the Balcony Room at The Griffins if you want to hear your favourite, they’re all there.
Stephen can give our Mr Farnham a run for his money and if you’re a fan of John Farnham you’ll love this show. If you aren’t, you’ll come away humming some old favourites you haven’t heard before and you might even become a convert. Almost all of those old Farnham favourites get an airing and Stephen won’t mind a bit if you sing along. You kinda can’t help it if you do, he’s an infectious performer. This man is a bundle of talent and he knows how to use it and his audience. Most of Australia used to listen in awe as Johnny hit those high notes, he was the voice that travelled with a lot of us through our teens and with us into our advance into maturity, Stephen recreates that world in our imagination. Stephen’s voice is a wonderfully adaptable, flexible instrument equally as powerful and full of life as Farnham’s, and we are going to be hearing a lot more of this young man. But don’t expect it to be too mature, this act is peppered with great comic flair and something to keep you chuckling along between songs. Stephen won’t let you off the hook for a minute. The show is fast paced and very funny and if all else fails he threatens to talk about himself for an hour – though I think that would turn out to be as entertaining as the Tribute to Farnham.
Stephen Valeri is irreverent, funny, incredibly cheeky and just the sort of personality to drive a good Fringe show. The eight reasons he gives that he believes link him spiritually to The Voice are inventive, sometimes caustic and very funny. Young Stephen with a mullet – you will laugh! And, of course, the mark of a good comic – he can laugh at himself.
It’s a bravura performance, full of joy, and I came away with a smile on my face having just spent an hour being reminded that we have a country bursting with talents like John Farnham and Stephen Valeri. Come on Adelaide, discover Stephen Valeri, you won’t regret it.
Only three Adelaide shows, get along to see this one if you can.
Reviewed by Adrian Barnes
Venue: The Balcony Room at The Griffins Hotel
Season: March 7th 6pm, 8th 6pm, 9th 7.15pm
Duration: 60 minutes
Tickets: FP $34.00 Conc: $30.00 Bank SA $26.2