Banquet Room, Wed Jun 11
Beccy Cole and Libby O’Donovan are seasoned, powerhouse performers and artists in their own right; Cole is one of the finest proponents of country music anywhere, and O’Donovan is a sensation in the jazz, musical-theatre and cabaret world. Bring them together on stage and the chemistry and respect for each other is undeniable, as is their innate sense of fun.
Opening with a cheeky ‘song-off’ battle of country and show-tune genre classics, the mischievous tone for the evening’s entertainment is most definitely set. The songs and show are enriched by the superb talents of the half country/half cabaret band; Mark Ferguson (piano/keyboard) and Jarrad Payne (drums) who play regularly with O’Donovan, and Sean Rudd (bass) and Mick Albeck (fiddle) from Cole’s touring band.
Cole and O’Donovan are not only singers of the highest calibre in their respective fields but they are good-humoured, irreverent and utterly charming and engaging. Anyone that did not leave with a massive smile on their dial must surely have had their jaws wired together! The genre swap of O’Donovan doing a rendition of Stand By Your Man and Cole hamming up Big Spender is outrageously hilarious.
They keep the laughs flowing with selections such as the highly amusing Rainbow Medley (I won’t give away what this involves, you’ll just have to go along to find out!) but both also have a natural sense of emotional timing with the inclusion of stunning original compositions; Cole’s heartfelt Poster Girl, where connection felt from the audience was palpable, and O’Donovan’s extraordinarily tender piano-accompanied From This Mother To My Mother. Aside from being superb musicians it’s this connection with heart that makes both these performers so magical.
Regardless of whether you are a country or cabaret fan, or a fan of neither, this is one event not to be missed!
by Jenna Bonavita
Beccy Cole & Libby O’Donovan – The Cowgirl And The Showgirl continues at Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, until Fri Jun 13.