It’s been almost 15 years since Molly Ringwald was last in Adelaide to feature in the low budget horror film Cut with Kylie Minogue. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival marks her Australian stage debut however, reinventing herself as a jazz chanteuse to her Aussie fans.
Ringwald cut her first LP at the age of six, but is best known on our shores as the star of John Hughes’ iconic ‘80s films Sixteen Candles, Pretty in Pink and The Breakfast Club. That young woman is all grown up now, oozing a sultry, sexy new image to set hearts aflutter.
She plants herself centre-stage, surrounded by her four piece band which includes music arranger and director Peter Smith on piano and Mike Stewart on saxophone. Her selection, primarily ballads, is a combination of songs from her new album and others from “The Great American Songbook” (those considered to be the most influential American popular songs of the 20th century).
Ringwald’s sweet voice does each song justice but as a performer she would be far more suited to an intimate lounge bar. She barely moves more than four steps from centre stage, she doesn’t dance, and her engagement with the audience, while charming, is minimal at best. The concert is an infomercial for her new CD, which is promoted tongue-in-cheek more than half a dozen times over the 70 minute show.
Lovers of her music will be impressed, however, as she croons hits like Dorothy Field’s “Exactly Like You”, Billie Holiday’s “Don’t Explain” and songs from the stage shows Guys and Dolls and My Fair Lady. As one of the most recognisable names in this year’s Festival line up, her concerts are likely to be popular, but her CD is sure to offer just as much satisfaction.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 7-9 June
Duration: 70 minutes
Tickets: $49.90 – $54.90
Bookings: Book at BASS