[MUSIC/Cabaret ~ ADELAIDE FRINGE PREMIERE ~ AUS]
The Moa (open-air) at Gluttony, Wed 9 Mar.
I went along to Hugh Sheridan – My Way hoping to experience a show that would, at least in part, demonstrate the gentle art of crooning, but I may have misinterpreted the pre-show blurb. And/or Hugh Sheridan has broadened the notion of crooning to something very different from the cool classy delivery of the original singer of My Way.
Jazz-based musical theatre show tunes are not always the easiest to digest for those less familiar with the genre, and I was hoping to learn how to better appreciate them. A lively and energetic There’s No Business Like Show Business got things off to a great start but from there it drifted off into a selection of meandering tunes from a guy prancing about the stage flirting with the audience, maudlin reflections about how much he misses his father (although the tune Dance With My Father was fine), boasts about supporting artists in LA with their artwork displayed on the stage and how they were going to auction it off via his Instagram account after the current season for Ukrainian refugees.
Then came a couple of tacky Hugh-in-drag numbers that lacked any class or taste. Adelaide’s own Hans and Fringe regular Reuben Kaye know how to do this stuff as an art form and not just as a cheap add-on. And it’s one thing to make yourself look ridiculous for cheap laughs but there’s no reason to embarrass your band by having them don ridiculous wigs as well.
Thank heavens for special guest Maiya Sykes who, in contrast, presented her tunes strong and true and done without fanfare; she’s a great singer. However, she obviously hadn’t got the memo about no dancing during the pandemic and had the hundreds strong crowd up and dancing – many reluctantly. DJ Driller Jet Armstrong was fined $5000 dollars for a little jiving at his DJ gig, while the crowd at The Moa were coaxed to sway along to what Maiya called the ‘groove section’ of the show.
Hugh Sheridan has a great voice but has taken his theatrics so far away from what crooning once was and turned it into something that bears little resemblance to the original art form. It all seems to be more about Hugh than the music itself.
Hugh Sheridan – My Way continues at The Moa (open-air) at Gluttony from 6.40pm until Sun Mar 20.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.