RAW: Cabaret Festival – Lisa Hunt

By Kosta Jaric

If it’s a diva’s performance you’re looking for, then you won’t have to go far this Cabaret Festival. Lisa Hunt has the kind of voice that complements her personality perfectly – as big as it wants to be.

Traversing a songbook that’s littered with history’s finest divas, Hunt swings from Motown to Staxx, from Soul Train to Studio 54 with relative ease. Hunt admits to loving Aretha Franklin the most, and her belting rendition of Dusty Springfield’s Son of a Preacher Man is firmly the hottest track of her performance.

Hunt’s band is a solid bunch. At first, the dual set of keys almost set the tone of a karaoke backing track, but once they get stuck into The Four Tops’ I Can’t Help Myself, they’re ruling the stage with ease.

The Banquet Room falls short of being the perfect venue for this Festival. Whilst visually appearing like a true cabaret venue, it lacks the most crucial of elements – a bar. Most people were dashing in and out before the performance to try and stack their table with a bottle and glasses, so be mindful if you want to drink away during the show.

Hunts involvement of some audience members up on stage and her engagement with the crowd made for an extremely enjoyable performance, but it’s the charisma that will grab you.

You’re not going to get anything new in this show; you’ve heard all these songs many, many times before. What you’re going to get is a voice that can bring the house down, and for the majority of the show it sure does. It may be her first invite to Adelaide, but chances are it will most definitely not be her last.

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