Review By Lia Cocks
What a way to kick off opening weekend of the Adelaide Fringe with Michael Griffiths’ ‘Greatest Hits’.
This Adelaide superstar, Helpmann Award winner and cabaret darling has curated his best of the best hits from his solo shows from the past 10 years.
A self confessed eighties tragic, ‘Greatest Hits’ will take you from Madonna to Kylie, A-ha to Annie Lennox and some Cole Porter thrown in for good measure.
Usually a one-man show, ‘Greatest Hits’ includes local musicians Felicity Freeman on bass and Steve Leske on drums, Michael tinkling the ivories at his showman best.
Set in Adelaide’s newest Fringe hub, The Queens, Michael’s quirky and fun style perfectly suited the venue.
From delivering his own introduction [a Fringe institution] to his final encore, Michael is a true entertainer.
The epitome of cabaret; raconteur, audience engagement and collaboration, Michael delivered his ‘Greatest Hits’ with wit, enthusiasm, passion and showmanship. He was on absolute fire!
As he took us on a journey through the late 70s into the 80s, he peppered his show with stories and anecdotes from his childhood, his musical influences and his favourite purchases – greatest hits albums! His tales of Adelaide in the 80s had the crowd fondly chuckling and reminiscing on their own childhoods.
The show also proved to be a fab singing lesson for the audience. We all played the part of Agnetha in ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’ while Michael was obviously Frida. A three part harmony was learned very quickly and this unscripted, uplifting and feelgood moment set the tone for the whole show.
The audience were in stitches by his enthusiasm for us to perfect the backing vocals to the Eurythmics ‘Thorn in my Side [Run Away From You]’.
Honestly, I’ve seen Michael a number of times, and this was undeniably his best show.
The dramatic lighting for when he belted out Spandau Ballet’s ‘Gold’ was utterly spectacular, my standout number of the night.
His encore number of the Peter Allen/Carole Bayer Sager hit ‘Don’t Cry Out Loud’ reminded us of his gilded vocals and true finesse to interpret and perform a song straight from the heart.
Such a showman from his first strut to his last note – Michael Griffiths always delivers a first class night out.