Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 10 December 2016
Mr Porter made his way onto the stage slowly and exercised his charm and his good humour on the very attentive audience. Of course in reality it was Michael Griffiths in front of us, but he inhabited the character of Cole Porter completely. Giving us a glimpse of the man who wrote so many of the songs that remain evergreen and relevant. Sprinkled between the wonderful songs were anecdotes and stories from a colourful life, keeping the audience spellbound.
He gave us the background to the songs, who they were written for and where, and how he felt about them. You’re The Top and Anything Goes were crowd pleasers and there was great amusement when he shared Irving Berlin’s version of his hit Let’s Fall In Love. Griffith’s tribute is full of poise and playfulness, he is charm and wit playing and giving us an insight into the man who wrote Miss Otis Regrets and the unforgettable Night And Day.
Michaela Burger does the same for Edith Piaf, giving us a look at her humble, and sometimes, hard beginnings and the difficulties she faced throughout her life. Physically Burger resembles Piaf and her portrayal is stunning. She touches on her many loves, her time singing for the Nazis and working with the French resistance. Like Griffiths the songs bring the character to life. When Burger sings La Vie en Rose and Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien, we could be listening to Piaf herself. Accompanied by guitarist Greg Wain, one could almost believe we were in a Parisian Cabaret.
Griffith, Burger and Wain came to the stage to finish this remarkable show. They closed with a couple of Cole Porter’s finest, Miss Otis Regrets and the haunting Every Time We Say Goodbye. If you get the chance to see this captivating show don’t miss out, it really is exquisite.
Reviewed by Fran Edwards