BWW Reviews:  DELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL 2014: CLASS OF CABARET GRADUATES Reveals How Far Last Year's Class Has Come

Reviewed Saturday 14th June, 2014

Four young people who appeared in the Class of Cabaret last year are back with their own show, Class of Cabaret Graduates. Their previous appearances only allowed time for a brief introduction and one song and so it was interesting to see what they were capable of in a more expanded setting.

Michael Baker-Stimson's first song, Where or When from the musical Babes in Arms and a big hit for Frank Sinatra, started just a little too low, but the remainder sat more comfortably within his range. It was immediately obvious that he is a fine crooner, though. Introduced by Fred Astaire, and another hit for Sinatra, was his next number, I Won't Dance, originally written for a failed musical called Three Sisters, then making it when used in the film Roberta. The Best is Yet to Come confirmed that the Great American Songbook is definitely his forte, although his version of Let Me Fall, from the Cirque du Soleil show Quidam, was also a stunner.

A superb version of In My Room, a Beach Boys ballad from 1964, was the first song for Hannah Worden. She also gave us what she referred to as "the mix tape from Hell", generating laughs and applause. Back to ballads and Time After Time, the Cyndi Lauper song, was given a very sensitive treatment

Nathaniel O'Brien was next up, drawing first on his interest in country music and accompanying himself on guitar. His later entry, The Nearness of You, though, suggested that he too should keep the Great American Songbook in his repertoire. He is also no slouch when it comes to singing the blues, and also gets right inside River Deep, Mountain High. Such versatility is a real asset.

Chloe Bremner opened with a rousing version of Katy Perry's Roar, before having fun with, well, Cyndi Lauper's Girls Just Want to Have Fun, showing a keen sense of humour and drawing a good load of laughs from the audience. She also tilts at Disney princesses, and hilariously exposes the false expectations given to small girls that, somewhere out there is a prince who is coming to rescue them.

These four talented young artists were very lucky to have such a terrific accompanist as Logan Watt at the piano, and their mentor, Kim Spargo, assisting with backing harmonies. One wonders how long it will be before we see them back again, each with their own Cabaret Festival show.

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Barry Lenny Born in London, Barry was introduced to theatre as a small boy, through being taken to see traditional Christmas pantomimes, as well as discovering jazz and fine music at a very young age. High school found him loving the works of Shakespeare, as well as many other great playwrights, poets and novelists. Moving to Australia, he became a jazz musician, playing with big bands and his own small groups, then attended the Elder Conservatorium of Music at the University of Adelaide, playing with several orchestras. This led to playing in theatre pits, joining the chorus, playing character roles, playing lead roles (after moving into drama), then directing, set and lighting design, administrative roles on theatre boards and, finally, becoming a critic. After twenty years of writing he has now joined the Broadway World team to represent Adelaide, in South Australia. Barry is also a long time member of the prestigious Adelaide Critics Circle.

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