The Box is close to full on opening night of Lucky : Songs by Kylie. It’s difficult to know if these are fans of Ms Minogue or Fringe regular Michael Griffiths. In previous years he has presented shows celebrating the music of Peter Allen, Madonna, Annie Lennox and Cole Porter. With a background in musical theatre (he has toured with productions of Jersey Boys, We Will Rock You and Priscilla Queen of the Desert), so he knows a bit about how to put together a show, and the razzle dazzle of this business called show.
It’s a great idea having a guy singing a bunch of great songs made famous by one of our most beloved female performers. Griffiths has a great voice and a warm and likeable on stage persona. The show is narrated by Griffiths in the first person as Kylie and while it’s a good concept it wasn’t really working for me across the length of the show. I think I would have enjoyed the same biographical narration about Kylie rather than from Kylie. Sometimes as a device it works quite well, finding a Jason to duet with for instance, but when being used to talk about something like Minogue’s relationship with Michael Hutchence I found it quite uncomfortable. I have always been a massive fan of both Kylie and Michael and I think this section left me quite non-plussed. Paradoxically this section produced my favourite musical moment, when he played a mash-up of I Need U Tonite with What Do I Have to Do?
The show is packed with Kylie favourites, I Should Be So Lucky, Got To Certain, Never Too Late, Je Ne Sais Pas Pour Quoi, Never Too Late. Griffiths sings well and clearly loves these tunes. Previously he has done this show with a live band and opening night he is using a keyboard with other instruments and backing. While he is clearly a talented musician on opening night I suspect that hadn’t quite got the tech of the backing music right as it often sounded thin and a bit cheesy. My strong belief is this was an opening night glitch and that they will have addressed and fixed that for the rest of the run.
With only one hour to tell Kylie’s cover Kylie’s life and thirty year career not everybody is going to hear all their faves (there was nothing from Indie Kylie era) but if you love Hand on Your Heart, Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. You’ll be fine. There is a medley of about ten classics that has toes tapping and with a little coaxing people are up and dancing to the great closer of Locomotion/Better the Devil You Know. First person narrative and opening night tech issues apart it was very enjoyable.
Fringe Review by Ian Bell
For more info and tickets to Lucky: Songs By Kylie head to https://adelaidefringe.com.au/fringetix/lucky-songs-by-kylie-af2018