This wonderful evening of entertainment features Michael Falzon (We Will Rock You, Rock of Ages), Luke Kennedy (The Voice, The Ten Tenors) Rob Mills (Wicked, Legally Blonde), Ben Mingay (Wonderland, House of Bond) together with the West Australian Symphony Orchestra conducted by Vanessa Scammell.
What a great package this show is!
I was amazed at the audience mix. I later learned that the WASO season subscribers were there in force along with fans of The Voice and Australian Idol who were familiar with Kennedy and Mills and with Mingay from Home and Away and Packed to the Rafters.
The orchestra were in excellent form and swing they did with verve and gusto. The glamorous conductor Vanessa Scammell added some fun turning to pose briefly with the singers for some selfies using a camera on a stick.
From the outset the packed house was there to have fun and the applause almost raised the roof.
The show was devised by Michael Falzon to open the legendary Adelaide Cabaret Festival (2014) and it has been touring Australia ever since. It is a clever device to take an eclectic mix of songs, from standards to contemporary pop and render them in swing mode.
The programme is tight and involves banter between the boys as well as glorious harmonizing and solos. Interestingly I felt they were all totally relaxed in song but not quite so audible speaking. Perhaps they usually don’t have to wait quite so long for the clapping to die down between songs.
There was quite simple but stylish choreography and a feature was made of Falzon, Kennedy and Mingay having recently learned to tap dance. Perth was their first stage outing and they acquitted themselves admirably.
For the first half of the show they wore suits and ties with Mingay differentiated by wearing a grey rather than a dark suit like the others. In the second half it was dinner suits and he again left his bow tie untied. When you read the programme notes it became clear that they were an ensemble, but comprised of four quite different characters.
They opened with Feeling Good and ranged through numbers as varied as Mr Bojangles, Night and Day, I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles) and the Van Halen rock classic Jump.
All their voices were excellent and the range of different registers blended beautifully. Their diction was clean and clear.
Act 2 opened with the singers working from the upper stalls individually serenading audience members with the lovely It Had to Be You. They then raced to the stage to perform numbers as diverse as Minnie the Moocher, Tainted Love and a gorgeous rendition of In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning.
The show finished with a terrific version of New York New York which brought the house down. Having given a fabulous and energetic show Swing On This was kind enough to grant us an encore.
My only criticism, and it’s a tiny one, I would love to know who devised the arrangements for WASO – they were wonderfully clever. The very good little free programme didn’t tell us.
There is one more show in Perth. If you want a good time guaranteed go!
West Australian Symphony Orchestra with Good Egg Creative and Asia Theatricals present
SWING ON THIS
Venue: Perth Concert Hall
Date: 17 June 2017
Swing On This
- Claire Condry