Friday 19 January 2018

Lucky: Songs by Kylie - Midsumma Festival review

She's been an Aussie darling from the moment she graced our television screens in April 1986 as Charlene Robinson on Neighbours. Since then, Kylie Minogue has become an international icon with a string of pop songs, and Melbourne is now fortunate enough to celebrate her in a tribute performance with an intimate look at her life and career.

In Lucky: Songs by Kylie Michael Griffiths is Kylie and recalls her early beginnings, failed romances and moments that cause her to question her mortality. One of the most appealing aspects of the show is that Griffiths doesn't dress like Kylie or 'act' like Kylie, rather he just is Kylie and it's fascinating how quickly you can easily accept this. In his white fitted shirt and black trousers and shoes, there are no hot pants or big curly blonde wigs in sight. It adds depth to the show and the defining moments of Michael Hutchence's death and Kylie's cancer battle, become even stronger.

Backed by a four piece band, led by Musical Director James Simpson, Griffiths brilliantly sings and plays piano to a number of Kylie's songs that are carefully selected to match the story or anecdote being shared. This results in including some of her lesser known or less commercially successful tracks which is an appreciated surprise during the performance. Along with the creative arrangement of these tracks, it allows for the story to feel more honest and engrossing, even for those who know her career ups and downs extensively. While there is no lull, which is also due to Griffiths' energy throughout, highlights include "Breathe", "Bittersweet Goodbye" and "What Do I Have To Do". 

Dean Bryant has put together a script that in only 70 minutes manages to cover over three decades of Kylie's life. It's quite a feat that Bryant can squeeze in her Neighbours days, Jason Donovan, Hutchence, cancer and a whole lot more without feeling like Griffiths need to rush through the material. Bryant's direction is calm and focused and allows for Griffith's charm to wash over the audience. 

The team behind Lucky: Songs by Kylie have ensured that this isn't just a run down of Kylie Minogue's life, but a rather detailed and unique approach at looking at what it has taken for the Princess of Pop to claim her title. It's a perfect show for die hard Kylie fans and also for those who have no idea who Kylie is (if such people exist) but enjoy an entertaining story with engaging musical numbers.

Venue: fortyfivedownstairs, 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne
Season: Until 21 January | Thurs - Sat 7:00pm, Sun 3:30pm

Tickets: Full $49 | Concession $42 
Bookings: Midsumma Festival

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