As a life long and dedicated Prince fan I was excited like a giddy little school girl when I scanned the Adelaide Fringe guide and saw a show about Prince. Then I stopped in a short panic and pondered “Do I really want to see this?” For some of us fans its still raw and hard to see or listened to tribute acts about our beloved musical icon. As usual my curiosity got the better of me and I decide to go see it.
Michael Wheatley has been in the game for a long time and he knows his stuff when it comes to Prince. Headlining the Australian Prince Tribute show in the early 90s gave him a good foundation on how to tread carefully with the Purple one’s music. From the moment he spoke those immortal words of Dearly Beloved I was drawn in and relived that “everything was going to be alright.”
While he didn’t go on to sing Let’s Go Crazy which I didn’t mind he did sing some of the more lesser known Prince songs. What I really enjoyed most from this tribute show was the fact he used songs that die hard fans would know and appreciate. There’s only so many times you can hear Raspberry Beret or Kiss without feeling unsatisfied. And yes he did sing those hits!
Throwing in some Prince references and charming humour to tell his momentous occasions of life like meeting his wife or his “road to stardom” in the music business the show flows nicely and we were often encouraged to sing along if we knew the lyrics.
If I had a voice I would’ve joined in, but I restricted myself to just a toe tapping or a clap every now and again. Special mention for the songs of the Prince protégés; there was a medley of Manic Monday, I Feel For You, When You Were Mine and the Martika hit Love Thy Will Be Done.
Wheatley cleverly used Prince’s songs to tell his life’s journey of being such a dedicated fan. It’s not like he didn’t have enough to choose from as Prince’s vast catalogue covers every aspect of life. Working through songs like Darling Nikki, Private Joy, Starfish and Coffee, Alphabet St, The Beautiful Ones and the surprising inclusion of Joy in Repetition as well as the hits that everyone knows and loves.
The way they are blended in his life story is what makes this show work. The cabaret versions of the songs are performed with passion and conviction. He does Prince justice and his respect for the man and the music is evident.
Forever in my Life – A Tribute to Prince
Loft at A Club Adelaide, 109 – 111 Waymouth Street, Adelaide
Performance: Tuesday 26 February 2019
Season continues to 12 March 2019
Information and Bookings: www.adelaidefringe.com.au
Image: Forever in my Life – A Tribute to Prince (supplied)
Review: Anastasia Lambis – courtesy of All About Entertainment