There was a rumour running through the foyer of the Dunstan Playhouse. Ziggy: The Songs of David Bowie was so good, so powerful, so sensual, that during the previous performance a couple had been caught in the auditorium performing an ineffable act of intimacy. Only a few songs into the show and singer Jeff Duff declared the tale to be true.
Ziggy certainly lived up to its reputation; an inspired journey into the influential individualist that is David Bowie. Renowned Australian rock musician, Jeff Duff opened the show extravagantly. His flamboyant incarnations of Bowie and uncannily similar vocals had the crowd cheering and singing along.
The evening's homage was in fact a shared effort, with industry greats Steve Balbi and Brydon Stace also donning the makeup and costumes. Backed by a rocking six piece band (including a kilt-wearing keyboardist), the three singers shared the limelight, performing songs from Bowie's Space Oddity and Ziggy Stardust albums. While not entirely impersonating him, each possessed impressive voices and convincing Bowie-esque mannerisms.
Stace was perhaps least like Bowie visually, but his powerful falsetto and extraordinary vocals certainly all but compensated. It was Balbi who truly stole the stage with a commanding and carnal presence; one that could rival that of the infamously passionate couple who attended the previous performance.
The crowd's response was so appreciative, with many dancing in the aisles, singing and clapping. It was a shame the auditorium was not full to capacity, as Ziggy: The Songs of David Bowie was certainly an entertaining look at some of Bowie's best work and a rare opportunity to see it performed so impeccably.
Ziggy would have been a spectacular standalone rock performance, but is questionable as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. With such an eclectic and unexpected combination of shows this year, many audiences have been left pondering the festival's perhaps indeterminate vision as well as the definition of cabaret itself. Regardless of this, Ziggy: The Songs of David Bowie, was a spectacular standout of this year's Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
2012 Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Ziggy: the Songs of David Bowie
Venue: Adelaide Festival Centre | King William Rd, Adelaide
Dates: 20 - 23 June, 2012
Tickets: $44.90 – $54.90
Bookings: 08 8216 8600