Festival Theatre, Mon Jun 9
The Festival Centre’s Christmas Proms has become a favourite on Adelaide’s festive season calendar and, although I am almost ashamed to admit it after attending my first ever Proms, I wonder why I have not gone in the past! What a fabulous night out of music, Carols and sing-a-longs for the whole family. Seriously, why have I not gone before?
On a colourful stage of brightly-lit Christmas trees and snowflakes scattered around, Timothy Sexton doubled a Master of Ceremonies – a jovial, witty and entertaining one that is great with the segues – as he conducted the vibrant Adelaide Art Orchestra on a night that was just a little different from previous Proms. After enjoying his time performing with Swing On This during this year’s Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Sexton could not help but put a Swing-twist on many of the much-loved classic Carols of all time; hence this year’s them of A Swingin’ Christmas Proms.
This night had everything that made is a perfect combination of music and fun and glitter. The talented and suave Michael Falzon [Swing On This] and the vivacious Rachael Beck [Chitty Chitty Bang Bang] graced the stage both together and singularly; each of them have wonderful voices and the harmonies created between them were stunning. This was especially true on their version of Bing Crosby/David Bowie’s Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth and Christmas Day. Christmas Unravelling was a blend of Ravel’s Bolero and the classic Oh Christmas Tree and a beautiful way to close the first set before interval.
The Mellowtone Five Singers [MFS] in their ‘Blues Brothers’ garb not only provided some cool backing vocals but also stood alone as a fabulous harmonising group on The Christmas Song and a jazzed-up Swing sing-a-long version of We Three Kings that had us toe-tapping and finger-snapping along. Michael Falzon shone as he swayed out Feeling Good with three of the lovely dancers from Ding Productions, while the beautiful juxtaposition of Silent Night and Night Of Silence between Rachael Beck and The MFS allowed for amazing harmonies and a moment of reflection of the true meaning of Christmas.
The clowns, Boppa & Mista Moose (who may or may not double as Clown Doctors at the Women’s & Children’s Hospital during their days – depending on how classified that information actually is) were such a fun addition to the night as they played around and created silly moments that were enjoyed by everyone on and offstage; peddling gold watches during Rachael’s Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend or throwing snow around the stage. Santa made a welcomed appearance on his Mopehead Scooter with dancing Christmas Elves in tow and the audience sing-a-longs were welcomed by all. The Twelve Days Of Christmas went down a treat – the audience sang the 5 Gold Rings part – and Michael’s foot-stamping at forgetting his line was hilarious and just a little endearing.
If you think I am raving madly about this show, it’s because I am. The Adelaide Art Orchestra were fantastic, the clowns were very cool with a great blend of silly and smooth, Timothy Sexton’s song arrangements were outstanding, the staging, lights, Christmas trees and snow set the perfect mood, the dancers and The MFS were excellent and both Rachael Beck and Michael Falzon shone on stage and they sang and danced beautifully, giving the audience their all. And if that’s not enough to convince you that this is a great family night out during the festive season, more than 2000 tickets for The 2015 Christmas Proms have already been sold, so be sure to get yours early.
Seriously, why have I not gone before?
by Catherine Blanch
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Carol Of The Bells/God Rest Ye – Adelaide Art Orchestra
Let It Snow – The Mellowtone Five Singers + Clowns
My Favourite Things – Rachael Beck
Hark The Herald Angels Sing – Audience Sing-A-Long w/ The MFS
The Christmas Song – The Mellowtone Five Singers
White Christmas – Michael Falzon
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas – Rachael Beck
Christmas Day (Michael J Smith) – Michael Falzon & Rachael Beck
Jingle Bells – Audience Sing-A-Long w/ The MFS
Feeling Good – Michael Falzon
Little Drummer Boy/Peace On Earth – Rachael Beck & Michael Falzon
Christmas Unravelling – Adelaide Art Orchestra
Night And Day – Adelaide Art Orchestra
Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend – Rachael Beck – w/ The Ding Production Dancers + Clowns
I’ve Got You Under My Skin – Michael Falzon
We Three Kings – Audience Sing-A-Long w/ The MFS
O Holy Night – Michael Falzon
Sleigh Bells – Rachael Beck
Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer – Michael Falzon & The MFS
Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town – Audience Sing-A-Long w/ The MFS
Silent Night/Night Of Silence – Rachael Beck & The MFS
Twelve Days Of Christmas – Michael Falzon, Rachael Beck, The MFS & Audience Sing-A-Long + Clowns
We Wish You A Merry Christmas – Rachael Beck, Michael Falzon, The MFS & Audience Sing-A-Long + Clowns