Presented by Kane Alexander and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Reviewed Wednesday 20th June 2012
Kane Alexander’s performance draws on his decade in cabaret, here and in New York, and the collection of songs is diverse. Old songs, new songs, standards, and show tunes sit side by side in this enjoyable hour or so. Accompanied by his Musical Director, David Cameron, on piano, and local musicians on bass and drums, it was clear from the opening number, Gershwin’s I’ve Got Rhythm, that we were in for an evening of great music. Cameron’s arrangements complemented Alexander’s rich, warm vocals superbly.
From there he moved to that lovely old ballad, It’s Been A Long, Long Time, by Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne. He also included a song that was originally cut from the musical Hello, Dolly, although has been reinserted in some performances that I have seen (and performed in), the comical Penny in My Pocket, sung in the musical by Horace Vandergelder and telling how he made his fortune, the dynamics of the music rising as does his excitement at his growing wealth.
Another fine show tune, This Nearly Was Mine from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific, was also given a very moving treatment. Another poignant moment was his excellent rendition of the Roy Orbison hit, Crying. Alexander really gets right inside the songs and ensures that they are given their full meaning. Between the comic songs, driving numbers, sad ballads, and brightly optimistic tunes he kept up a good line in patter, putting songs into context, telling stories and anecdotes, and relating very well to the audience. He is an endearing performer whose warmth and love of his profession is captivating.
His lively version of Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone closed the show and, since Sammy Davis Jnr. often closed his shows with that song, he was in good company, especially considering that it was also recorded by such great names as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Billie Holiday. Of course, we did talk about him after he had gone. This was a fine example of that smooth, sophisticated, modern New York cabaret, and an interesting comparison to the Weimar Kabarett of some of the other performances. Catch him while you can.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Festival Theatre stage, Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Road, Adelaide
Season: to 21st June 2012
Duration: 1hr 10mins
Tickets: $39.90 to $49.90
Bookings: BASS 13 12 46 or here