It’s quick to see why the Adelaide Cabaret Festival promotions call Paul Capsis the King of Cabaret. Despite minimal dialogue with the audience, Capsis captures attention with his flamboyance, energy and talent. He exudes such a sense of fun with every move and gesture that he’s communicating his love of the art constantly.
On a black curtained stage, surrounded by his stellar four piece band, also in black, Capsis enters splendiferously in a shiny white suit and oversized bling; his great mop of messed hair atop a face heavy with mascara. His appearance immediately breaks the ice, taking his adoring audience through medleys, mash ups and cover songs that range from Amy Winehouse’s “Back to Black” to David Bowie’s “Major Tom”.
Whether he’s channelling Julia Gillard, rocking the house with Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”, or moving the audience with Patti Smith’s angst ridden ballad “Pissing in a River”, Capsis’ vocal range never fails to impress. He hits the highest of highs and can strike a chord like a man or woman. His boundless energy and cheeky facial expressions are a joy to behold.
Musical Director Andrew Patterson has done a sensational job arranging each number, whether it be blues, gospel or rock. He accompanies Capsis on keyboard and backing vocals, and gives the band opportunities to shine in their own right.
Paul Capsis has performed in Adelaide a number of times but despite two 2012 Helpmann Awards under his belt, he is only now making his Adelaide Cabaret Festival debut. May it be the first of many.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Venue: Festival Theatre Stage, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 13-15 Jun
Duration: 70 minutes
Tickets: $39.90 – $54.90
Bookings: Book at BASS