Adelaide-born tenor Daniel Koek made a welcome return home to perform songs from his impressive career and his second studio album, HiGH.
We last saw him breaking hearts (of women and men) as Lt Cable in South Pacific just a few years ago. He went straight from that production to playing Valjean in the West End production of Les Miserables. Yes, the man can sing.
This autobiographical show actually has the longer title Bringing Him Home with his West End Story. The title doesn't really matter. This is a performer to watch.
With his opening Phantom medley and an impressive upper register, the audience, seated on the Festival Theatre stage, were treated to a sparkling collection of musical theatre standards as well as personal favourites. Punctuated by engaging anecdotes and stories, Koek chose to include some video footage and snapshots on a large screen at the rear.
Amongst the many highlights, Where I Want to Be (Chess) was powerfully sung and he delivered a stirring rendition of I Am What I Am (La Cage Aux Folles). A beautiful piece of dance animation accompanied So She Dances – a tribute to a colleague.
With a beautifully clear voice, Koek managed to move with ease from one style to another, including songs from Billy Joel and Randy Newman in the set. A bonus was a special guest appearance from Michaela Burger who performed two numbers with him. Closing the show with Bring Him Home (Les Miserables) had the capacity crowd cheering for more.
Accompanied by a 5-piece band with Greg Arrowsmith as Musical Director, the show was everything that a home-town audience could want. Now it's about time for the rest of Australia to fall for the charms and talent of Daniel Koek.
Adelaide Festival Centre presents
Bringing Him Home with his West End Story
Musical direction by Greg Arrowsmith
Venue: Festival Theatre Stage, Adelaide Festival Centre
Dates: 13 – 14 Jun 2015
Tickets: $49.90 – $39.90