Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Until 10 Jun 2018

Review by Fran Edwards

Nothing is more refreshing than finding serious artists who can have fun with their art. Antoinette Halloran can certainly do that! Aided and abetted by Patrick Lawrence (putting in his oar as the publicity puts it) Miss Halloran has lots of fun and takes the audience with her. Starting with a rose and a copy of “Fifty Shades of Grey” she soon swaps to “Fifty Shades of Opera” with persuasion from Mr Lawrence.

Under the guise of auditioning, Antoinette is told to ‘take it up the octave’ (double entendre intended) and takes us on a merry journey broken into ‘chapters’ such as virgins, unrequited love, and temptresses. It is all linked by witty word play with her accompanist and leads to some very fine singing.

Known for her long and varied career in opera and musical theatre, Antoinette is at home in most genres. This production allows her to prove her versatility, with her beautiful soprano voice she wanders through works as diverse as Mozart, Rossini and Bizet, peppered with songs from musical theatre. Such as the words of “Touch Me” from Rocky Horror, put to an opera refrain; a stunning rendition of “Send in the Clowns” from “A Little Night Music” and “Miss Otis Regrets” (a Cole Porter Classic).

Many of these have counter melodies played by Lawrence and this includes the well-known piece from “Carmen” which turns into “My Heart Belongs to Daddy”! The Diva manages to top all of this by putting a section of “Fifty Shades of Grey” to music in which she reaches notes beyond the norm. Which section (used verbatim) – you will have to see the show to find out.

I love the Cabaret Festival and the gems it brings us.