Live Show Review: Adelaide Cabaret Festival

June 30, 2007 in Reviews

Reviewed at the Adelaide Cabaret  Festival, Australia by Bill Stephens for Cabaret Hotline.

On opening night , from a possible nine different shows, I chose to kick off the festival with “ASO Plays Cabaret”. This show featured the entire Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on stage in the 2000 seat Festival Theatre, playing fabulous arrangements, mostly by Nelson Riddle and Billy May, of songs closely associated with Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra.

The orchestra was conducted by John Wilson, a noted English conductor, arranger and scholar, with a well deserved reputation as a prolific arranger of orchestrations for film, radio and television. What a pleasure it was to listen to Wilson expose the subtle nuances in these glorious orchestrations of songs like “Mona Lisa”, “Unforgettable”, “Nature Boy” and “Walking My Baby Back Home” in the first half, and later “Cheek to Cheek”, “September in the Rain”, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”, and the inevitable “New York, New York” – all of which were impeccably sung by Gary Williams, who, in the best tradition of those BBC radio broadcasts, happily allowed the songs to shine. It was a thrill to hear all these great arrangements superbly played without a synthesizer in sight.

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