Presented by: Roulette Shows
Reviewed 4 June 2021
Rachael Beck is one of Australia’s most sought after leading ladies of theatre, as well as being a passionate mentor and educator. On the evening of Friday 4 June, her warm personality and exquisite voice filled the stunning surrounds of The Regal Theatre.
This show was a celebration of Rachael’s career in the industry from her humble country beginnings to the string of highly successful leading roles in musicals. The first half was a journey of Rachael’s life. She wove songs and stories with professional ease, sharing her father’s part in her falling in love with musicals, her break into professional theatre at sixteen with the original Melbourne season of Cats, through to her recent roles in musicals. The second half was a collection of songs that resonated with Rachael’s life, or from shows she has done. Highlights included Mein Herr – Cabaret (in which she played the lead role of Sally Bowles), Somewhere Over The Rainbow, and What Baking Can Do – Waitress.
Rachael’s voice and performance is faultless. Her warm, mellow tone only seems to get better every time I hear her sing. This warmth also extends to her banter with the audience as she draws you into her stories. Up-tempo numbers in the show allowed Rachael to showcase her strong dance ability as well. Tap, jazz, Fosse – Rachael moved between the styles with ease. Vocally, it was in the ballads that Rachael’s stagecraft really shone through; the stillness of her performance in these numbers drew you in, causing you to completely forget you were in a large auditorium with other patrons.
Rachael was also joined on stage by her good friend, Adelaide’s own Rainey Mayo. Rachael met Rainey here in Adelaide during a production of Me and My Girl, which was also Rachael’s first leading role. Since then, they have stayed very good friends. They performed two duets: I Know Him So Well from Chess and For Good from Wicked. It was clear through their banter how strong their friendship is.
Throughout the evening, Rachael was accompanied by the extraordinary Daniel Edmonds, who has musically directed countless professional musicals around Australia. As a musical director and accompanist myself, I was in awe of Daniel’s ability to turn the humble piano into a full orchestra. His technique and musicality was exceptional. I honestly could have sat and listened to him play all night long. Daniel’s accompaniment to Rachael’s voice was pure perfection.
Rachael focuses a lot of her time mentoring the next generation of theatre performers, and this became very apparent throughout the show as she spoke openly to the audience about her work and how vital it is to allow the younger generations to express themselves through the performing arts.
“The Arts has a lot to offer and I think that’s why I’m so adamant about it and supporting Arts Departments in High Schools, because we really need to educate our kids and give the gift of the creative arts to our kids. There are no other subjects that require a student to reach inside and find out what’s there. It teaches them the real stuff that’s happening in our hearts and our minds and how to just be human and cope with life. It just boggles me that there aren’t more classes about emotions and philosophy and how to cope with things.”
Once again Markus Hamence and Kathryn McGowan from Roulette Shows have produced a sensational night of entertainment. I strongly encourage you to head over to their website www.rouletteshows.com.au and see what other upcoming shows they have. You won’t be disappointed with a Roulette Show – take a spin with them.
Sadly, Rachael’s appearance in Adelaide has come and gone. If you haven’t seen her perform before, where have you been? You are missing out on seeing someone at the top of their game. For those of us who have seen Rachael many times, there is no question as to why we flock to see her whenever she is in town.
Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff
Rating out of 5: 5