Le Grand Review was an extraordinary mix of entertainment. More Rocky Horror Show than Cabaret but never the less a fascinating montage of modern song.

All four performers, Brendon Hanson, Julia Jenkins, Sharon Wisniewski and Shai Yammanee have powerful voices showed to good effect in both solo and ensemble work. The show opened with a beautifully blended arranged medley of songs of love and desperation.

Julia Jenkins was outstanding in the Chrissie Hynde made-famous number “I Go To Sleep” lavishly accompanied by Tim Cunniffe on piano. This was followed by the male duet giving us a strong version of “Kiss From A Rose”. At one point only there was a slight vocal unevenness between them, but it was first night and quickly rectified.

From then on the show moved into a far more satirical mode showcasing some amusing tongue-in-cheek songs. Sharon Wisniewski is a vivacious performer and highlights of her character pieces were “Ain’t No Other Man” as she threatened a couple of older male audience members with mock amorous advances. She developed this mode later in the show with the witty vengeful “I’ll Kill Her”.

I last saw Shai Yammanee in Into The Woods where he displayed extraordinary comic timing. This time he showed this skill to advantage in a wonderful X-Factor fave, “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing”. In true talent show style he wrung every drop of emotion from the number, accompanied by the cast waving their illuminated cell-phones in unison!

Brendan Hanson cut a wonderfully sleazy figure clad in skin-tight rock-star black with all the bling accessories. He shone vocally but was especially impressive visually with his cleverly exaggerated facial expressions ranging from smug to smarmy, pseudo-sexy to terrified. Very polished!

The cast and audience relished the finale of rockier numbers (“Come Together”, “You’ve Got The Love” and a Lady Gaga Medley. Bassist Manoli Vouyoucalos showed us some dazzling solo riffs. Drummer, Callum Moncrieff and guitarist Pat Reale were right on the mark, but special mention must be made of Musical Director Tim Cunniffe. His piano solos were exquisite and his double handed simultaneous work on electric keyboards and piano riveting! It was a strange brew but the unflagging energy and multi-talented company pulled off a great night’s entertainment.

Cabaret Soiree Carnivale

Director Belinda Dunbar

Venue: DownStairs at the Maj, His Majesty's Theatre 825 Hay St, Perth
Dates/Times: Thursday 2, Friday 3 & Saturday 4 September @ 7.30pm
Bookings: BOCS Ticketing (08) 9484 1133 | www.bocsticketing.com.au | BOCS outlets

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