Swing On This – Adelaide Cabaret Festival

Luke Kennedy from Swing On This. Image supplied.
Luke Kennedy from Swing On This. Image supplied.

Four fine voices and the very polished Adelaide Art Orchestra joined forces for a one-off nostalgic delight of Swing, showcasing some of the best of the last 40 years of popular song.

The Adelaide Festival Theatre swung along, the capacity audience tapped their feet and relished the slick presentation of these experienced and accomplished talents, setting the pace for the rest of the excitement packed Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Fresh from his success in The Voice and touring with The Ten Tenors, Luke Kennedy showed his experience, his clear and tidy voice and amiable personality with a swinging rendition of Have You Met Miss Jones by Rodgers and Hart (1937) early in the show, and Michael Falzon (Rock of Ages, and The SydneyMusical Theatre Cabaret Festival) followed up with more Sinatra and I‘ve got You Under My Skin (Cole Porter 1936).

Established singer, dancer and actor, Matt Lee donned tap shoes in a nice homage to Sammy Davis Junior with Mister Bojangles, Ben Mingay (Packed to the Rafters, Jersey Boys, An Officer and a Gentleman) created a corny cue for Cole Porter’s Night and Day, and all four presented some nicely hotted up versions of a host of songs from the period. By the time the boys cracked out Mack The Knife (Kurt Weil 1928) just before interval, they certainly had found their mettle (after a less confident start in some of their ensemble numbers).

The “surprise” guest – Kate Ceberano herself – oozed on to the stage and really showed what Cabaret is all about, joining the boys in a fine rendition of Something Stupid.

There is grace in besuited men moving tidily together as their neat, suave choreography showed. While the kidding around and banter was somewhat studied, it did look like the guys were having fun. They are not Sinatra or Dean Martin or Sammy Davis Jr – they weren’t trying to be and they don’t have to be, with this easy, cool and accessible music. The Adelaide Art Orchestra was a first class support and fundamental to the success of the show, not least in the big numbers they saved till the finale, and Frank was almost palpably present as the entire ensemble gave everything to NY NY and My Way, which they pretty well did his way, and sent us happily on ours.

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