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Entries in Madonna (7)

Thursday
Feb162012

Michael Griffiths' Cabaret Tour Diary Part 10 - Shows and more shows

 

Meeting Petula Clark after her show on Saturday night

 

Wednesday February 15, 2012

It’s the morning of my last show in New York. I have one show in Sydney next Friday 24th and that’ll be the end of my tour and this ‘tour diary’. 

I’m not my usual self today. Whitney Houston’s passing on Saturday has changed the mood here in New York. I must confess I wasn’t a fan of much recent material and it seems she had lost quite a lot of vocal ability, whether through lifestyle or emotional problems - we can only speculate. No one would argue though, that her early talents were simply extraordinary. I loved “How Will I Know” (I still do) and remember when it came out in 1985. I also remember singing along to “The Greatest Love of All” back in the day and thinking the lyric ‘learning to love yourself’ a little peculiar. Granted, I was only about ten years old and perhaps a little young to grasp the pop psychology of it.

I’m a huge Annie Lennox fan too and I think she sums it up perfectly on her fan page:

It’s almost unbearable to think of yet another OUTSTANDING artist being prematurely snuffed out like a light…far too soon. I’m torn between the profound awe I have for the incredible voices of Whitney and Amy, and the horror I feel over the destructive natures of their respective demise. So many phenomenal performers have fallen between the cracks like this. It makes me feel so sad. I’ve been looking at YouTube clips of Whitney today, and reflecting on her tremendous rise to massive fame as a young woman. 
She had it all…Beauty, exceptional talent…fame, wealth… But when the life/work/fame balance gets out of kilter, and you start putting drugs into the mix, it’s completely toxic. What a terrible tragic waste. So sad.

Annie Lennox

On a lighter note, my IN VOGUE performance on Friday was fab. I had a full house and quite a few native New Yorkers had wandered in; I’d love to know how they found out about me! After the show a stranger from the audience grabbed me and wanted to tell me all about living in the same apartment block as Madonna 30 years ago. She told me how she put up a huge black fence around the entire building, much to the horror of all the other tenants! I LOVE hearing stuff like that! She loved the show and we both had a good giggle about it. Jim Caruso also came and now he is my fan, telling esteemed cabaret singer Marilyn Maye on Monday night at Birdland to check out my show tonight! I do hope she comes, I saw her sing and she totally blew me away. More on this later.

On Saturday night, my dear NYC friends Andy and Matt took me out for dinner and to see Petula Clark at Feinstein’s at Loews Regency and it was impossibly fancy. Petula’s best known for the song “Downtown” (which coincidentally I sang in my first cabaret show in Sydney with Lenore Munro and Paul Flynn in the Stables Theatre back in 2000). She was fantastic, especially when she accompanied herself at the piano. “La Vie en Rose” was the highlight.

Sunday was FREEZING cold but I braved my way through the icy wind to see Australian cabaret star Kim Smith perform his show Misfit at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. It was a treat to see his ‘neo-Weimar’ persona light up the stage and finally meet him after hearing his name for so many years. Kim sings in different languages and reinterprets pop songs (from Bjork to Minogue) in a cabaret setting. The second part, we have in common.

Unfortunately, on Sunday night the heating went down as I slept. I’d been waking up cold the last few mornings so gave the thermostat a good yank before I tucked in and it obviously didn’t like me cos it slowly shut down during the night and I woke up in a meat freezer early on Monday morning. Those people who say you can’t catch a cold by being cold obviously haven’t spent the night in a freezer (and I do mean that literally, it was about -7C overnight). I’ve been aching and coughing my guts up ever since. I’m a little worried about how my voice will hold up tonight but, thinking about it today, I’ve had a dream run until now! A little cough or sniffle is nothing I can’t handle.

Monday night was another fab night at Jim Caruso’s Cast Party. Was great to see Jim and his bar manager William – he sings most Mondays and absolutely blows the roof off. As I mentioned earlier, Marilyn Maye performed and silenced the room. She sang ‘My Funny Valentine’ (on the stroke of midnight; Happy Valentines!) and I’m now her biggest fan. I have hit Amazon and ordered all her CDs.

Last night was War Horse at The Lincoln Arts Center. I’ve not seen the Spielberg film adaptation; I’d heard it is best to see it on stage and I’m glad I waited. It’s a stunning production. The horses are a visual triumph and the emotional impact is undeniable. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

Today is another ‘pre-show’ quiet day. Hoping that a good hour of yoga will scare off these muscle aches and free up my voice from all the coughing.

Here’s to my last NYC show!

 

Reviews:

“He creates a sense of togetherness in the room, reminding audiences that pop songs aren’t popular because they’re ordinary or vacuous, but because of the joy and connectedness that they inspire in the people who hear them. To miss this show would be even more of a crime than Madonna’s cover of ‘American Pie’.”

Click here to read the Four and a half-star review by ArtsHub reviewer Aleksia Barron.

 

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. 


Michael Griffiths in In Vogue: Songs by Madonna

New York season at Don’t Tell Mama: For tickets and show info, click here.

Sydney season as part of the Slide Cabaret Festival: For tickets and show info, click here.

Read his interview with Cabaret Confessional here.

 

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

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 1 - Melbourne debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 2 - Preparations

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 3 - Mirror Ball

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 4 - The Audience

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 5 - A Collaboration

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 6 - NYC Bound

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 7 -  The Takeoff

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 8 - New York Debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 9 - Priscilla

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 10 - Shows and more shows

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 11 - The homecoming

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 12 - Farewell

 

Related post:

Interview: Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna

 

*If you are interested in having your show featured on Cabaret Confessional, click here for more information.

Find out how YOU can become an exclusive Founding Patron of Cabaret Confessional.

Subscribe to Cabaret Confessional via email.

‘Like’ Cabaret Confessional on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Friday
Jan272012

Michael Griffiths' Cabaret Tour Diary Part 5 - A Collaboration

 

Last Saturday nights audience filing in under the mirror ball

 

Friday January 27, 2012

I’m having a wonderful week so far. The days are going by in the usual fashion - Proud Mary for breakfast, an hour of practice in the space and a big swim to run through the show in my head. What’s making it really special are the evenings - the crowds are full and the show gets better with every performance, I couldn’t be happier!

Also, the reviews are in this week - 4 stars from the Herald Sun and 4.5 stars from ArtsHub - an absolute rave. It reads like it may have been written by my mother (arguably my biggest fan), but it’s actually penned by arts writer Aleksia Barron and is almost too good to be true. These reviews, plus good word of mouth have made this second week virtually sold out. Saturday night is already at capacity but we do have room for the handful of walk-ins that we expect tonight. 

Dean was scheduled to fly to Brazil early this week to mount the local production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert The Musical of which he is the Associate Director. Happily for me, there’s been a little visa upset meaning he doesn’t fly until tomorrow so I’ve had him on hand for little notes and refinements. 

He’s been in both shows this week and sweetly (and perhaps a little strangely) had the biggest laughs in the room, even though he knows the jokes are coming a mile away! I think it’s because he takes such delight with an unsuspecting audience and their response to the saucier moments in our show. 

We did a proper notes section on Wednesday, creating a new segue and adding a couple of ‘buttons’; a finishing comment on a chapter in the show, usually to evoke a laugh. My folks flew in from Adelaide yesterday to see the show and it was a treat having them in with such a great crowd.

Indulge me while I get a little philosophical. Doing this show, a collaboration with my dear friend, has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. I’ve had a great run over the last ten years doing big scale musicals (admittedly, as the ensemble member at the back who understudies everyone), I’ve had a real blast and made fantastic friends. But I’ve never enjoyed time spent on a stage as much I have playing The Queen of Pop each night. I’ve been pondering this all morning as to why this is, and it’s because of two main reasons.

Firstly, it’s an opportunity to combine my very specific skills and use them together - namely playing my own piano arrangements and singing pop songs. I’m never going to be employed for my dancing skills (although, I have been, and ended up hidden up at the back!). I’d pretty much given up on playing the piano a few years ago and it was only because Dean insisted that I accompany myself for this little project that I have become reacquainted with it and I’d forgotten how much joy it brings me.

Secondly, it’s about being part of the creative process and the extra personal investment this demands. I’ve never worked so hard at anything before. The show has been a true collaboration between Dean and I. Neither of us has settled for anything less than the absolute best from each other. Sitting at the piano singing Madonna songs in front of a captive audience have been some of the happiest hours of my life.

I’m now keen to rip up these last two shows then I better start thinking about NYC!

 

Reviews:

“He creates a sense of togetherness in the room, reminding audiences that pop songs aren’t popular because they’re ordinary or vacuous, but because of the joy and connectedness that they inspire in the people who hear them. To miss this show would be even more of a crime than Madonna’s cover of ‘American Pie’.”

Click here to read the Four and a half-star review by ArtsHub reviewer Aleksia Barron.

 

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. 


Michael Griffiths in In Vogue: Songs by Madonna

Melbourne season as part of the Midsumma Festival at fortyfivedownstairs: For tickets and show info, click here.

New York season at Don’t Tell Mama: For tickets and show info, click here.

Sydney season as part of the Slide Cabaret Festival: For tickets and show info, click here.

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

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 1 - Melbourne debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 2 - Preparations

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 3 - Mirror Ball

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 4 - The Audience

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 5 - A Collaboration

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 6 - NYC Bound

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 7 -  The Takeoff

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 8 - New York Debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 9 - Priscilla

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 10 - Shows and more shows

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 11 - The homecoming

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 12 - Farewell

 

Related post:

Interview: Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna

 

*If you are interested in having your show featured on Cabaret Confessional, click here for more information.

Find out how YOU can become an exclusive Founding Patron of Cabaret Confessional.

Subscribe to Cabaret Confessional via email.

‘Like’ Cabaret Confessional on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Sunday
Jan222012

Michael Griffiths' Cabaret Tour Diary Part 4 - The Audience

 

 The Queen (me) and Justin Timberlake (Josie Lane) backstage before Saturday night’s show

 

Sunday January 22, 2012

It’s 9am. I was hoping for a big sleep in today because it’s my first day off in a week, but I woke up an hour ago going over little passages from the show in my head. I suppose I really am ‘in the zone’ and it’s virtually impossible to switch off. The last two In Vogue: Songs by Madonna shows have been simply wonderful and even better still, I now have three days off to really recharge and let my voice have a proper rest. I was feeling a little vocally tired last night during some of the more challenging numbers, but nothing a day or two off won’t fix.

Let’s go back to Friday night. We needn’t have panicked, throwing about free tickets to lure the reviewers. We ended up with a lot of walk-ins, had to drag out about fifteen more chairs and ended up even turning a few people away! The crowd was incredible and it was easily the best show yet. I am finding the ease that is so essential for a cabaret show improves notably with each performance. An audience can smell fear a mile away, so when they are virtually in your lap (as is the case in our fabulously intimate venue) they are impossible to fool. 

I had a table right down the front of about five women that looked to be in their mid thirties, who laughed and laughed so hard in all the right places that I had to pause now and then until they regained composure. They were such good fun! They even hung around after the performance to meet me and pose for pictures. That’s exactly the kind of people you need in your audience. They’ve promised to come back with other friends and I hope they do.

After the ‘movie medley’, which is a cheeky little stroll through The Queen’s not so illustrious movie career, an audience member got up and left - presumably to visit the bathroom. In a 100-seat venue, you can’t scratch your ear without everyone noticing, so in the context of a cabaret performance, it was the perfect opportunity for a cheeky little improvisation. It was something along the lines of:

“Oh, sorry to see you go. Good-bye! Sorry I’m not your cup of tea…” No response, as she walked out.

“You know, I’m sure she’s off to tell all her friends, ‘I went to that Madonna cabaret and it was absolute rubbish!  I tried to sit it out but that movie medley was the final straw. It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t clever…”

The movie medley is possibly the wittiest and sharpest sequence in the show, so this did tickle everyone’s funny bone. They were such a rowdy bunch and it made the show such a joy to perform.

All the technical aspects of the show are working a treat; I am SO in love with the mirror ball I simply could not perform the show anywhere again without it! “Crazy For You” was magic and it captivated the crowd. I love it when a crowd is moved to complete silence after a song. “Crazy” ends with a delicate fade to black and when it’s really cooking there is a prolonged moment of silence, which is just delicious! With two reviewers in that night, I couldn’t have been happier with the combination of performance and response.

After the show, a little group of us sat out on the street in front of the theatre on milk crates at Cumulus and had a feast - such wonderful food and wine! Our waiter was very excited to boast that Geoffrey Rush was in the night before singing In Vogue’s praises to staff and patrons alike. 

Saturday was a quiet day. Breakfast at Proud Mary AGAIN and Daryl and I had little wander around Fitzroy, which I just adore. Then it was back to the space again for an hour of piano practice. The show was the most accurate it had ever been the night before but there is always room for little improvements. I feel I might ‘jinx’ myself if I don’t play through the entire show each day of a performance.

It was then time for a little pampering with a massage in the city and another swim to warm up. Tonight’s presale was sitting at about 50. As long as there are 40 or so tickets sold each night, we break even. Anything above that is a bonus. We had about 20 walk-ins too, so it was a good size and our first strictly ‘paying’ crowd since opening. Admittedly they were the quietest crowd yet, and seemed to be strangely unfamiliar with a lot of the Madonna references, which usually evoke screams of delight from our more conventionally homosexual audience members. I suppose it was more of a ‘general public’ crowd but they seemed to have enjoyed the show, because Josie Lane told me that as they left the theatre, there were murmurs of what a “fantastic show” it was and what “gorgeous arrangements” they heard.

I don’t have another performance until Wednesday night so its time to relax for a couple of days. I’m going to give myself today off entirely but I will go into the venue on Monday for some more practice to keep my fingers supple. I also have fingers crossed that The Age review surfaces before Wednesday because, assuming it is positive, it will give ticket sales a big boost. The shows next week are looking pretty good but I want them to be bursting at the seams!

 

Reviews:

“He creates a sense of togetherness in the room, reminding audiences that pop songs aren’t popular because they’re ordinary or vacuous, but because of the joy and connectedness that they inspire in the people who hear them. To miss this show would be even more of a crime than Madonna’s cover of ‘American Pie’.”

Click here to read the Four and a half-star review by ArtsHub reviewer Aleksia Barron.


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. 


 

Michael Griffiths in In Vogue: Songs by Madonna

Melbourne season as part of the Midsumma Festival at fortyfivedownstairs: For tickets and show info, click here.

New York season at Don’t Tell Mama: For tickets and show info, click here.

Sydney season as part of the Slide Cabaret Festival: For tickets and show info, click here.

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

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 1 - Melbourne debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 2 - Preparations

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 3 - Mirror Ball

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 4 - The Audience

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 5 - A Collaboration

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 6 - NYC Bound

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 7 -  The Takeoff

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 8 - New York Debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 9 - Priscilla

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 10 - Shows and more shows

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 11 - The homecoming

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 12 - Farewell

 

Related post:

Interview: Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna

 

*Calling all Adelaide Fringe 2012 cabaret performers! If you are interested in having your Fringe show featured on Cabaret Confessional, click here for more information.

Find out how YOU can become an exclusive Founding Patron of Cabaret Confessional.

Subscribe to Cabaret Confessional via email.

‘Like’ Cabaret Confessional on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Friday
Jan202012

Michael Griffiths' Cabaret Tour Diary Part 3 - Mirror Ball

 

Another interview at JOY


Friday January 20, 2012

Today I can breath a huge sigh of relief. We opened last night, it was a huge success and I couldn’t be happier!! But first let’s back track…

On Wednesday morning I had a big swim at Fitzroy pool to get the blood really pumping. I find swimming fantastic to warm up for a performance, a habit I got into all the way back in my WAAPA days at Beatty Park Pool.

That was followed by breakfast at my favourite cafe in Melbourne, Proud Mary – they make such good coffee! They are now used to seeing me sitting alone, making little pencil marks through my script whilst feasting on a big cooked breakfast and slurping down a bowl of coffee. I’ve been there every morning so far and have no plans to stop.

Then it was back into the theatre for more piano rehearsal. Our mirror ball turned up at around 6pm. Very exciting! Rob the lighting designer set it up, focused a spot light on it and then we all stood there completely underwhelmed when it didn’t spin. It came sans motor - why would you even have a mirror ball if it didn’t spin!! Alas, there was no time to find a motor before the first show but seeing it was a ‘preview’, it didn’t phase me - you don’t want the preview show to be perfect before the opening night, everyone in the industry knows that’s bad luck! Dean had spent the day at Chapel Off Chapel to coordinate the opening of Britney: The Cabaret. He’d planned to pop in to see us just before the show but couldn’t make it.

It didn’t matter because we all felt ready for our first crowd. And what a crowd it was. I knew friends of mine in Melbourne were coming along at some point so when I heard that 80 people were lining up, the biggest surprise was that I only knew three of them! It was such a fantastic turn out and it means that the word is getting out there about my show. I felt very calm just before going out.

As soon as the show began, it became very clear that there were a whole lot of Madonna fans. I could see faces beaming with recognition and little mouths moving along to the lyrics! The crowd was just fantastic; they laughed, applauded and jeered in equal measure. During “Cry Baby” near the end of the show, I completely dried and had to ask the audience for the lyrics and they answered without missing a beat. I had a quick drink afterwards with my dear friends Michael, Jay and Bec (who thought the “Cry Baby” incident must have been a scripted part of the show!) and then it was straight home to bed to rest for the gala opening 

Thursday really did feel like the day of opening night; SMSs, Facebook tags, flowers and checking into a hotel all helped! I had another morning feast at Proud Mary, a big swim then went into the venue to run the show for a photographer.

When I arrived at the venue, our mirror ball had a motor attached. Thanks Rob! It’s the first time we’ve used a mirror ball in the show and it was looking an absolute treat! We plotted it into three different states throughout the show and stood there in wonder as the pretty little lights danced around the venue, until suddenly it stopped dead in its tracks. It turns out the motor was meant for a small ball and we had the biggest size there is.  We’d essentially blown the motor up! Rob dashed out of the theatre and we all had our finger crossed that an industrial strength motor would surface before 8pm.

I was really happy with my performance on Wednesday night but regarded it as a solid preview and really wanted it to ‘step up’ for tonight. After the photo run I grabbed some spag bol from pellegrinis and headed back to the Sofitel, which is blissfully a hop, step and a jump away from the venue, to psych myself up for the show.

I arrived back at the venue at the hour call to a spinning mirror ball. HOORAY!! There was a definite buzz in the air, new front of house staff were being given a tour while I was wandering around half dressed, with steaming hot tea and vocally warming up. Dean was rushing out to grab new colourful tea lights for the ‘cabaret style’ tables. I felt very prepared sitting in my dressing room, as the invited audience poured in to the sounds of our pre-show Madonna playlist pumping through the venue and getting everyone ‘into the groove’. I gave myself a little pep talk, begged my fingers and voice to do me proud then it was on with the show.

To put it simply, the show was awesome - easily the best it’s been I didn’t want to know who was invited so I could remain focused on the job ahead but as I sang out to the crowd I saw the smiling faces of dear friends and notable colleagues in the biz; Goeffrey Rush, Magda Szubanksi, Marina Prior, Virginia Gay, Collette Mann, Brett Sheehy, Trevor Ashley, Kirk Page, Travis Kahn, Anthony Harkin, Gareth Keegan and Dean sitting with my partner Daryl. All smiling back at me and captivated by our odd little cabaret show. After the show, there were bubbles and accolades all around. Dean was clearly thrilled, which was a relief; he is always the hardest one to please and it was delightful to see him so proud.

I had another interview on JOY FM this morning and then breakfast with my sister and her husband (Proud Mary AGAIN!) who’d especially flown from Adelaide as a lovely surprise for opening night.

I’ve been back into the space already for more practice today. The Age and the Herald Sun are both in tonight to review the show so it’s no rest for the wicked. About to have another swim in preparation for tonight’s show. Wish me luck!

 

Reviews:

“He creates a sense of togetherness in the room, reminding audiences that pop songs aren’t popular because they’re ordinary or vacuous, but because of the joy and connectedness that they inspire in the people who hear them. To miss this show would be even more of a crime than Madonna’s cover of ‘American Pie’.”

Click here to read the Four and a half-star review by ArtsHub reviewer Aleksia Barron.


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. 

 

Michael Griffiths in In Vogue: Songs by Madonna

Melbourne season as part of the Midsumma Festival at fortyfivedownstairs: For tickets and show info, click here.

New York season at Don’t Tell Mama: For tickets and show info, click here.

Sydney season as part of the Slide Cabaret Festival: For tickets and show info, click here.

Read his interview with Cabaret Confessional here.

 

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

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 1 - Melbourne debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 2 - Preparations

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 3 - Mirror Ball

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 4 - The Audience

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 5 - A Collaboration

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 6 - NYC Bound

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 7 -  The Takeoff

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 8 - New York Debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 9 - Priscilla

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 10 - Shows and more shows

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 11 - The homecoming

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 12 - Farewell

 

Related post:

Interview: Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna

 

*Calling all Adelaide Fringe 2012 cabaret performers! If you are interested in having your Fringe show featured on Cabaret Confessional, click here for more information.

Find out how YOU can become an exclusive Founding Patron of Cabaret Confessional.

Subscribe to Cabaret Confessional via email.

‘Like’ Cabaret Confessional on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

Wednesday
Jan182012

Michael Griffiths' Cabaret Tour Diary Part 2 - Preparations

 

My fabulous crew! Rob on lights, Chris on sound, Me the Queen,Dean my writer/director and Josie the Diva!

 

Wednesday January 18, 2012

It’s just after 7am. Anyone who knows me understands this is unusually early for me to be functional but it is opening night tonight, so the anxiety has kicked in.

I really don’t mind nerves now that I’ve been around long enough to know how to use them positively; I get so much more done! In a long running show it’s more of a pain when there are no nerves whatsoever and you have to dig deep to muster up some energy and enthusiasm. So it’s been a really productive couple of days.

On Monday I met the space, my crew and the lovely team at fortyfivedownstairs. The piano is simply divine and I couldn’t be happier. Virtually the entire show is just me and a piano and if you are not a pianist you will have to trust me that not all pianos are built the same and can be vastly different to play. This one is going to work a treat! For a day scheduled as merely introductory, we actually got a lot done; knocked off a proper sound check, I got in a couple of hours of piano practice and Dean and I worked through the script tightening it up just a little here and there.

Yesterday morning, I had brunch with the lovely Cath Alcorn who is producing my upcoming Sydney performance in February at Slide. She’s down here for Midsumma too with her Bette Midler show so we had lots to share and compare. Then it was back to the space for a full afternoon of ‘tech’. Rob, our lighting designer, has managed to make a miracle out of a fairly spartan setup and the lighting states look incredible. Between him and Dean the show here is going to look a million bucks (well, a good few hundred thousand – hell, we’re only charging $29!).

‘Tech’ basically means I sit still at the piano for a few hours while Dean and Rob fine tune each lighting state working methodically through the show from my entrance to my last bow, which we imagine as noisy and triumphant in a silent room. With that behind us, Josie came in and brightened up the room and we did a proper run. It’s always a little disheartening doing a run to an empty room, especially once you’ve had it up before a lively audience and know how just much they can bring to a show. After the run, which admittedly did have a few more mistakes in it than I would have liked (all mine), Dean and I popped over to JOY FM on Bourke St to plug the show on their cabaret hour. I ended up talking more on air about my dermatologist and arguing with Dean than actually praising the show; oh the joys of live radio!

Then it was back to the space to top and tail each lighting state again, so that Chris (my very talented sound guy) could have a go at running the lighting board because for the actual season he’s on his own. What a clever boy!

Dean and I had late dinner at San Telmo, this fantastic new Argentinian restaurant around the corner and did a notes session which was reassuringly brief. Also reassuring was hearing how ticket sales have really picked up these last couple of days and it looks like the first few shows in particular are going to be rather full. Thank God! 

Today is looking like a relatively quiet day which gives me time to mentally focus on the show and correct some of the little stuff ups from yesterday. I find mental preparation away from the piano can sometimes be just as productive, but I am still popping in to the space after lunch for some real piano practice too. I’m doing yet another spot on JOY at 5pm, I’m not sure in what capacity but happy to just turn up and roll with it. Then it’s a quick run through at 6pm before our first show tonight at 8pm. Dean won’t be there because it coincides with Britney Spears: The Cabaret starring the gorgeous Christie Whelan opening at Chapel Off Chapel, so in which case,  we are calling my show tonight a ‘preview’ and tomorrow the official opening.

I was ahead of myself when I announced the new Madonna single came out on Monday, it’s not actually released until the end of the month. However, the Queen of Pop did score her second Golden Globe yesterday for Best Original Song (Masterpiece) and I did feel unusually proud! I’m going to take it as another good sign.

 

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.

 

Reviews:

“He creates a sense of togetherness in the room, reminding audiences that pop songs aren’t popular because they’re ordinary or vacuous, but because of the joy and connectedness that they inspire in the people who hear them. To miss this show would be even more of a crime than Madonna’s cover of ‘American Pie’.”

Click here to read the Four and a half-star review by ArtsHub reviewer Aleksia Barron.


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. 


Michael Griffiths in In Vogue: Songs by Madonna

Melbourne season as part of the Midsumma Festival at fortyfivedownstairs: For tickets and show info, click here.

New York season at Don’t Tell Mama: For tickets and show info, click here.

Sydney season as part of the Slide Cabaret Festival: For tickets and show info, click here.

Read his interview with Cabaret Confessional here.

 

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

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 1 - Melbourne debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 2 - Preparations

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 3 - Mirror Ball

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 4 - The Audience

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 5 - A Collaboration

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 6 - NYC Bound

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 7 -  The Takeoff

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 8 - New York Debut

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 9 - Priscilla

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 10 - Shows and more shows

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 11 - The homecoming

Michael Griffiths’ Cabaret Tour Diary Part 12 - Farewell

 

Related post:

Interview: Michael Griffiths salutes Madonna

 

*Calling all Adelaide Fringe 2012 cabaret performers! If you are interested in having your Fringe show featured on Cabaret Confessional, click here for more information.

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