Review | Michael Griffiths: By Request

Michael Griffiths: By Request | The Edith Spiegeltent | Ends 19th Jan | ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

It was instantly obvious that WAAPA alumni, Michael Griffith, has a huge fan base as he raced around the Spiegeltent, ‘high-fiving’ his fans both old and new.

We were seated in a side row, which allowed us to have a panoramic view of not only the stage, but also a visual of the audience. It felt like I was witnessing a Michael Griffiths love fest!

The Helpmann award winner and international cabaret performer encourages singalongs to popular pop culture numbers, as well as taking requests from his adoring fans in the audience. Participation is a signature of Griffiths’ show and this was actively encouraged with everything on his extensive playlist.

Looking resplendent in a figure-hugging black and white chequered jacket with the shiniest patent leather shoes, the stage was set for a rollicking roller-coaster ride.

The show’s pace never faltered and Griffiths’ piano playing skills were way up there with the best in the business, as he straddled the Yamaha keyboard that was bathed in a soft-focus light.

Barry Manilow’s Copacabana was the kick-starter number, which had all in the audience swaying and singing along. Other gay icon songwriters’ material followed with Madonna’s Like a Prayer, a standout. This well-known song is a number that very few performers attempt, not only because of the different syncopations, but also with the difficulty of the vocals. Griffiths mastered this with ease.

In my opinion, Elton John’s Your Song and Eurythmics Sweet Dreams should also be worthy of a mention, but the stand-out winner of the night was when Griffiths sang a Peter Allen medley, which was a notable closer for the 90-minute show.

Griffiths was ably assisted on the night by a splendid two-piece combo; Greg (drums) and new-comer, Josh (bass).

It’s such a pity that this magnificent toe-tapping show only has a short run. Tickets are still available for the final performance on Sunday night. My big tip is to forget about 60 Minutes on TV and whatever is on Foxtel, and head to the Fringe Festival in Yagan Square, to witness a true gay showman in action.

You will not come away disappointed!

Catch Michael’s second performance of this show on Sunday night, tickets available via Fringe World.

Terry Larder is the founder of Club West (1989-2015) and in this role over those years was the director/producer/compere/drag performer. He is keen to foster goodwill and nurture new and emerging artists both on-stage and off.  He has been a writer for OIP since 2007, and has reviewed numerous shows as well as interviewed and written about Debbie Reynolds, Anthony Callea, James Morrison, Elaine Paige to name but a few. Terry also writes history articles for OIP and university publications. 

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