A delightful and at times very moving Cabaret in The Day, the final of this year’s series, “ BROADWAY BABIES’ was at Mosman Art Gallery featuring the talents of maestro Glenn Amer and Adele Johnston.
The versatile, extremely impressive Amer needs no introduction to audience members of Cabaret in The Day. Johnston is a versatile artist excelling in a variety of genres including cabaret, musical comedy, opera, operetta, concert and lieder recitals. For this concert she was elegant in black and silver and – at least at the start- draped in a hot pink feather boa.
In this concert we were treated to a range of ‘The Greatest Hits’ from various musicals ranging from Annie Get Your Gun to Phantom of the Opera and more…
It began with the powerhouse, envious and wistfully dreaming I’m Just A Broadway Baby from Sondheim’s Follies. Amer then launched into Hello Dolly, full of pizzazz.
Then came the slow, romantic Try to Remember from The Fantasticks (1960) the world’s longest running musical.
Then came the joyous, teasing duet Wunderbar from Kiss Me Kate (1953, Cole Porter ) followed by the jaunty Brush Up Your Shakespeare and then Johnston in the slightly darker and yet fiery So In Love from the same show.
We then jumped to the witty, teasing Anything You Can Do I Can Do Better from Annie Get Your Gun ( Amer as Frank , Johnston as Annie ) which was much fun.
Then Johnston sizzled and lamented in the show stopping Can’t Help Loving Dat Man from Showboat , bringing the house down.
Next was a duet from Porgy and Bess (Bess You Is My Woman) .Amer then took us to Scotland and Brigadoon with Almost Like Being in Love with jazzy rhythms .
A highlight of the concert was Johnston’s portrayal of Fantine from Les Miserables in I Dreamed A Dream that broke our hearts.
Johnston then metaphorically swam across the Channel to perform a rather superior but excited Eliza in I Could Have Danced All Night from My Fair Lady.
Then back to USA with Mame, a duet of the title song, Amer as the chorus.
Johnston then introduced the next section of the show, referring to ‘love songs sweet’ with Amer performing a wistful, reflective I Won’t Send Roses from Mack and Mabel. For ‘ love songs bitter’ the mood, although light and flirtatious was perhaps sinister – Sondheim again, By The Sea , with its crisp lyrics and sharp spiky rhythms , with Johnston wearing an embroidered shawl as Mrs Lovett, Amer as Sweeney Todd. Johnston then gave a sensational , rich, dark and world weary ironic rendition of Send In The Clowns from Sondeheim’s A Little Night Music.
Then the soaring, passionate duet from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera – All I Ask of You , Amer as Raoul ,Johnston as Christine.
Johnston then explosively dazzled as Mamma Rose in Gypsy with Everything ‘s Coming Up Roses.
Next came The Party’s Over from the 1956 musical Bells Are Ringing .This led to the final song , Amer in a stirring You’ll Never Walk Alone from Carousel (1945) by Rodgers and Hammerstein.
After most enthusiastic applause for an encore we heard the duet You’re Just In Love ( I Wonder Why) from Call Me Madam (1950) written by Irving Berlin.
Melvyn Morrow, Artistic Director of the series, then spoke and tantalised us with possible hints of next year’s possible program .
Running time 90 mins (approx.) no interval.
BROADWAY BABIES, part of the Cabaret In The Day series, played the Mosman Art Gallery on the afternoon of the 23rd July.