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Review: Livvy and Pete at the Grand Central Ballroom

By Carly Fisher

Award winning cabaret team, Amelia Ryan and Michael Griffith, have devised a show sure to warm the hearts of all Aussies. Mixing together the songs of Australian iconic performers, Peter Allen and Olivia Newton John, we get a taste of the highlights from both of their careers (featuring maracas and roller-skates…what more needs to be said!), as well as stories and tid bits from Ryan and Griffiths’ own careers and lives. From the outset they mark the rating of the show as C for Camp, and the audience (at this performance a more mature than camp audience) absolutely joins in this celebration.

From the moment Michael Griffiths took the stage at the Grand Central Ballroom, his outgoing persona and vibrant energy immediately struck the audience. Michael says that he has loved Peter Allen since childhood and through his authentic, energetic and charismatic performances, you can tell. He becomes Peter Allen on that stage and has the audience in the palm of his hand – but with songs like Tenterfield Saddler, I Go to Rio, and the unofficial Australian Anthem, I Still Call Australia Home, how could he not. The music of Peter Allen is just as melodic and relevant as the day he wrote these iconic songs.

Taking up the Olivia Newton John side of the show, Amelia Ryan comes out on stage with her curly blond hair waving and in the skin tight blacks and red heels that we all know and love from the end of Grease. She goes on to have many an outfit change, including the 1980s inspired ‘let’s get physical’ leotard, a pink ladies jacket and more dresses and shoes to boot. She is certainly entertaining and knows how to get the crowd – especially the men – involved in the production. That said, her microphone was set much too loud, leaving some of her higher pitched notes/songs at an uncomfortable level to listen to. I felt that at times, the Olivia content fell a little flat in the dialogue component – it was just trying a little too hard for audience interaction.

Perhaps the greatest part of this performance is that you can tell that the two genuinely enjoy performing together – or so it seems. They have a good time and as such, we have a good time too! Their duets were great – together they really compliment each other’s tones and also personalities through the talking parts of their performance.

Livvy and Pete was a really fun cabaret performance where we were encouraged to sing-a-long to some of the greatest hits of two beloved Australian stars – a perfect Saturday night out in Adelaide.

I would love to see both of these performers again both in these roles but also in further cabaret performances – true talents of the Adelaide cabaret scene.

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All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.


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