Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Adelaide Festival Centre
Until 09 Jun 2019

Review by Janice Bailey

After reading the write-up for this show I went along with high expectations for reminiscence of Dolly Parton’s life through her iconic songs. I was not expecting a Dolly impersonator but I was expecting some of Dolly’s more well-known songs and an air of joyousness which comes with any mention of Dolly Parton.

From the entrance which lacked energy, it soon became clear that this performer was struggling vocally. The whole performance lacked energy and vocal stamina, which made it difficult to connect with the storyline, and the song choices seemed random. Once the performer’s broken arm, a recent event, became apparent, it seemed that this could have been a contributing factor to the lacklustre performance. It was also opening night and recent travel would have contributed to the lack of vitality.

There were some successful interactions with the audience, when Diamond seemed most comfortable, resulting in some well delivered punchlines – but nothing like the ‘sharp-tongued wit’ we were promised.

The four piece backing band expertly held it all together and the addition of Adelaide’s Gospo Collective was a wise choice. They were outstanding and lifted the mood of the show. Charmaine Jones’ rendition of “I Will Always Love You”, supported by the choir, had the audience fully engaged, with good reason.

To be fair, the majority of the audience had come along to have fun and they joined in with the songs they knew, such as “9 to 5”, and were totally entertained by the wonderful Gospo Collective.