Left – Michael Falzon and Luke Kennedy
For fans of the great Burt Bacharach and the legendary Elvis Costello, what could be better than having had the opportunity to experience these two together in concert? Well having two accomplished performers re-imagine their collaboration live on stage must come pretty close.
The Bacharach/Costello partnership resulted in at least two great songs, plus a Grammy for the album Painted from Memory, hence the title.
The splendid 9-piece band, made up largely from the Adelaide Art Orchestra set the tone for the evening with a smooth jazz orchestral overture.
By the time Michael Falzon and Luke Kennedy hit the stage, the audience was very much in the mood for some sophisticated sounds. And that's exactly what they got.
Aside from a brief introduction and the use of some recorded voiceover from the composers, the audience was treated to a "song cycle" encompassing the album.
Highlights included Veronica and I Still Have That Other Girl, to a great rendition of This House is Empty Now as well as the powerful closing numbers, What's Her Name Today and God Give Me Strength - this show was sheer class all the way.
Kennedy even managed to treat the crowd with a beautiful rendition of Bacharach's Alfie somewhere in the middle (between sides one and two of the recording).
Both Falzon and Kennedy have excellent vocal control and presence, creating beautiful sounds individually or together. And both their interpretations and the splendid musical arrangements made it unnecessary to be familiar with the material.
Falzon already has an established musical theatre career (Rock of Ages, We Will Rock You), while Kennedy was placed second on an early season of The Voice, before touring with The Ten Tenors.
If there has to be a criticism of this presentation, it was all over way too soon. I and many others needed at least one more song.
Adelaide Festival Centre in association with Good Egg Creative and Asia Theatricals presents
Painted From Memory
Michael Falzon and Luke Kennedy
Directed by Jonathan Biggins
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Dates: 12 – 13 Jun 2015
Tickets: $59.90 – $44.90