Michael Feinstein

Adelaide Cabaret Festival.

Festival Theatre, 25 June.

For this - their last - Adelaide Cabaret Festival, the Campbell duo chose a suitably eminent guest for the 2011 closing night performance.  Following much hype and excitement, Michael Feinstein took to the stage of the Festival Theatre amidst rapturous applause; the first sure sign that no matter what he did next, Feinstein had dedicated audience ready to lap it up.

The charismatic singer was a perfect host and consummate performer, providing much light and witty banter as he retold stories of his encounters and friendships with the biggest names in the business.  Having performed at the birthday celebrations of Frank Sinatra, one might imagine Feinstein considers his life work complete, but such is a day in the life of someone who can call themselves a close, personal friend of Liza Minnelli.

Feinstein’s reputation and success are not unwarranted.  He possesses a phenomenal singing voice, holding with ease a pitch perfect note longer than most of us can hold our breathe.  In Singing Sinatra, Feinstein covers all the essentials, including the great man’s work with Cole Porter and the Gershwins.  The set list was popular with the audience, who were engaged and enthralled throughout.

Perhaps a reflection of Grammy-nominated entertainer’s 200-plus appearances a year, the show is of a high standard but perhaps just lacking a little something.  One could not fault a single aspect of the show, other than this fact itself.  Onstage he is a wonderfully humble and self-effacing individual, and no one could question his talent, but it’s always nice to come away from a live performances feeling that you have had a chance to see a different side of the man.

All up a lovely and entertaining performance.  Deserving respect as a passionate advocate of the music he sings, Feinstein puts on a great show full of great tunes.

Nicole Russo