The stage at Slide just before my final performance on Friday night
Monday February 27, 2012
I’m at 30,000 feet again. This time its not for my cabaret tour but it’s back to work; I start Jersey Boys rehearsals tomorrow in Auckland with a largely new cast before our New Zealand opening at the gorgeous Civic theatre next month. It’s been a long break and I’m actually pretty excited to see some old work mates and meet lots of new ones.
Friday night was my last IN VOGUE performance (for the time being - I’m certainly not putting it to bed) and it couldn’t have ended on a higher note. Slide lounge was absolutely bursting at the seams with some people taking their chances on the door and being turned away.
I had a lot of old friends come along (some for the third or fourth time - bless their cotton socks) but even more exciting was the amount of people I didn’t know who just turned up to see this curious cabaret they’d heard about. Is it a drag show? Does he dance? Does he wear a gold conical brassiere? I’d never had an audience full of such obvious die-hard Madonna fans and it was a buzz to have every obscure little reference in the show land with such recognition and amusement. IN VOGUE had never felt like such a celebration.
“Express Yourself” absolutely brought the house down and a couple of merry fans in the balcony even stood up to dance a little. The segue into “Like a Virgin” (where Madge talks about meeting her daughter Lola) was met with spontaneous applause for the first time. “Like a Prayer” had fans singing along with gay abandon. Josie, who starred as JT looked absolutely stunning and “Crazy For You” was just gorgeous. Blissfully, the crowd was also happy to tread quietly with me into the darker, more poignant moments in the show and were captive for the a cappella verse of “Papa Don’t Preach” (touching on her rocky marriage to Sean Penn) and were hushed for the classical “True Blue”(as Madge walks down the aisle to her Mother’s favourite song - a touch of artistic license, granted).
The crowd then joined me in rowdy unison for the final “Excuse me. I’m Madonna. The most famous bitch on the planet. Shut. The F#@k. UP!” as if we’d all rehearsed it! It’s three days later and I’m still on a high thinking about it.
With my ‘cabaret tour’ now behind me, I’m going to bid my farewell. I’d like to thank all of you who’ve been reading my tour diary and sharing this little adventure with me. Seeing it’s the Academy Awards tonight, please indulge me while I make my ‘Best Pop Cabaret Oscar Winning Speech’ (is that a category? Maybe there’s a Golden Globe for it?).
First and foremost, IN VOGUE: SONGS BY MADONNA would never have happened without Dean Bryant. I can never thank you enough. Special thanks also to David and Lisa Campbell and the whole team at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival for having blind faith in the show when it was merely an idea and for rolling with the punches after the first public performance (OUCH! we really created quite a stink there!). Thanks also to all the wonderful people behind the scenes at Midsumma Festival, fortyfivedownstairs, Don’t Tell Mama and Slide (especially Jeremy Youett and Catherine Alcorn, my beloved producers).
I’ve also had a lot of help from some dear and talented friends along the way. Elliott Wilshier, thank you for your amazing ears, your musical suggestions and your friendship. Jeremy Brennan, thank you for being such a support and especially for “Cry Baby” which goes down a treat every show! Luke Hunter, thank you for letting me sit in your office at the piano for hours on end and to all the Jersey Boys crew for being my ‘family and friends’ back in the day and giving me so much encouragement.
Thanks Josie for being the best JT ever!
Thank you Lena Nobuhara for suggesting back in December that I keep this tour diary. I’ve had so much fun and my memory is so terrible that I’ll read this back in a few months and be as surprised as the next person.
Last but not least, I need to thank my family for everything (especially for generously sending the piano over to Sydney on a truck a few years back in the first place; no piano would have meant no show!) and to my partner Daryl for never complaining once about me being completely neurotic over the last year while IN VOGUE has taken over my life.
Here’s to the next cabaret show!
“Griffiths’ charming and impish performance sheds new light on Madonna’s songs and career…” - Kate Herbert
Click here to read the four-star review by Sun Herald reviewer Kate Herbert.
“With some impressive arrangements for piano, Griffiths gives the music and lyrics a considerable lift, and together with some clever monologues, injects a lot of humour” - Australian Stage
Click here to read the full review by Vito Mattarelli.
Read his interview with Cabaret Confessional here.
Cabaret Confessional is excited to announce our new guest blogger Michael Griffiths, a critically acclaimed cabaret and musical theatre performer. He made a spectacular cabaret debut at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival last year with In Vogue: Songs by Madonna. Following his success, he is now touring the show to Melbourne, New York City and Sydney. He will document his time on the road on his tour diary for the next two months.
Michael Griffiths Bio:
Performing Arts (WAAPA) with a Bachelor in Music Theatre in 1999 and has a Diploma in Music Composition. Michael is currently performing in Sydney in Jersey Boys. Before this Michael toured Australia and New Zealand in Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Michael performed in the Australian and Japanese tour of We Will Rock You!, appeared in the original Australian cast of Shout! and was in the original workshop for the new Australian musical Prodigal. Michael has performed cabaret at Sydney’s legendary Showqueen at the Supper Club and for Koookaburra’s Up Close and Musical series. He enjoyed a sold-out season with his cabaret debut In Vogue: Songs by Madonna at the 2011 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary series
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