Helen Reddy’s song, I Am Woman is undoubtedly an anthem celebrating women. That’s exactly what the audience were treated to at Hear Me Roar – a tribute to female artists, as part of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival at the Dunstan Playhouse.
The show was performed by talented trio Tania Doko (artist, songwriter and vocalist for Bachelor girl) Emma Pask (popular jazz vocalist) and Prinnie Stevens (musical theatre performer, songwriter and performer) who celebrated artists including Billie Holiday, Tina Arena, Adele, Carole King, Annie Lennox, Aretha Franklin and Donna Summer to name a few. Backed by an all female band (including the wonderful Sam Leske on guitar) the band also featured a female three part horn section.
The show couldn’t have opened with a more fitting song – Katy Perry’s Roar followed with Sisters by Annie Lennox, beautifully setting the mood for the journey we were to be taken on – a journey paying tribute to women whose music changed the world, including music icons we lost too soon.
Emma Pask’s tribute to Amy Whinehouse was especially moving, making special mention how the media were fascinated with her tragedy and pain, and how her legacy should be about the music not about her addictions.
Prinnie Stevens paid an equally moving tribute to Billie Holiday with God Bless The Child, and Emma Pask to Adele with Someone Like You. It had me thinking why these songs weren’t swapped considering Emma Pask is renown as an exceptional jazz vocalist (like Billie Holiday) and Prinnie Stevens as a powerful belter. Nevertheless, both were executed beautifully.
Tania Doko’s strength as a performer shone through as she paid tribute to Chrissie Amphlett’s I Touch Myself, Madonna’s Express Yourself gracing the stage with raunch and conviction, and Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. Doko’s energy and execution were on pointe, and the audience lapped up every minute.
I especially loved the Aretha Franklin medley featuring Emma Pask’s soaring vocals in Since You’ve Been Gone followed by the trio sharing Respect, and Carole King’s Natural Woman.
Emma Pask married to a South American led the tribute to a woman who bought Latin music to the pop charts – Gloria Estefan. We were treated to Let’s Get Loud, Whenever Wherever and Rhythm is Gonna Get You ahead of Prinnie Stevens belting out Tina Arena’s Chains – flawless.
The show ended on a high with Helen Reddy’s I Am Woman, leaving the audience wanting more. The talented trio returned for an encore to close the night with a Donna Summer Medley (On The Radio, Bad Girls, She Work Hard For The Money), with some terrific choreography that was somewhat lacking in other parts of the show.
The concept of the show is extremely entertaining and I enjoyed it immensely. All three performers were outstanding vocally and each paid respect to all the artists beautifully. Special mention to Tania Doko whose energy was there from start to finish. I was hoping to hear Buses and Trains moreso, as a tribute for her decades of contribution as an accomplished performer/songwriter to the music industry both in Australia and overseas.
You can see a lot of work has gone into this show by Trevor Ashley (acclaimed musical theatre performer and drag artist) who should be applauded for bringing this incredible show to the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. I hope this is the start of many more.
Hear Me Roar
Dunstan Playhouse – Adelaide Festival Centre, King William Street, Adelaide
Performance: Saturday 26 June 2021 – 8.00pm
For more information, visit: www.adelaidecabaretfestival.com.au for details.
Image: Tania Doko, Prinnie Stevens and Emma Pask – photo by Claudio Raschella
Review: Betty Samis – courtesy of All About Entertainment – Adelaide Cabaret Festival Reviews