While there had been any number of cameo or spontaneous appearances by Festival Director, Kate Ceberano, across last year’s and this year’s Festival, Friday night was the first time in her two year reign that her own show had been scheduled. And for that she chose a dual bill with opera maestro Teddy Tahu Rhodes.
A capacity Festival Theatre came ready to enjoy themselves and they were not disappointed. From Whitney Houston to Leonard Cohen and Hunters and Collectors, from Porgy and Bess to Les Miserablés and the characters of Bloody Mary and Escamillo, the hits and fun kept coming.
Ceberano seemed very determined to make it her night – come what may – and even the occasional signs of tardy preparation did not daunt her or her audience’s enthusiasm. Almost gushing over Tahu Rhodes, early on coy and clingy, Ceberano in a Bloody Mary / Eva Peron mixed outfit indulged in idle banter about the various ruses required to get her classical operatic baritone partner, who strode magnificent on stage in all black and a tighten shaven head, to try his hand at humble cabaret. But as the evening went on, a more comfortable accommodation developed between them, helped admirably by Vanessa Scammell, the leader of the quite excellent Adelaide Art Orchestra.
It is worth taking a brief diversion to note the performance of this #2 ensemble in this town that seems to always rise to the occasion when the ASO is just too big to engage. Seemingly night after night during this Festival , the AAO went into bat on all manner of new and varied material and pulled it off superbly.
While Caberano is no slouch in the vocal department, anyone hearing Tahu Rhodes for the first time could only have been singly spell bounded by the delicious delights of his singing. It is indeed a voice to die for.
This was an excellent night’s entertainment and a wonderful culmination of another highly successful Cabaret Festival by Kate Ceberano. This Festival seems to be only growing in popularity and quality and while the acts often produced mixed results for the various audiences, that of course comes with the territory and, in and of itself, a reward for those willing to experiment with more than a show or two.
Kryztoff Rating 4.5K