Michael Griffiths and Carlotta set to dazzle Melbourne audiences

45DS Michael Griffiths Cole and CarlottaAward-winning cabaret star Michael Griffiths and showgirl royalty Carlotta are set to dazzle Melbourne audiences when they hit the stage at fortyfivedownstairs this week as part of the 2016 Midsumma Festival.

Exploring the colourful portrait of the life and timeless songs of Cole Porter, Michael Griffiths will present Cole – a story of hedonism, grave misfortune, enduring love and a legacy that sparkles with wit and wisdom. Premiering at the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival at the invitation of Sir Barry Humphries, this one-hour show, developed by Griffiths with acclaimed writer Anna Goldsworthy (Piano Lessons, Welcome To Your New Life) will feature songs including You’re The Top, It’s De-Lovely, Let’s Do It and Night and Day.

“To make these songs look easy to sing has been some of the hardest work I’ve ever done,” said Griffiths. They all brim with Cole’s signature wit and word play but what shines through in the show is his ability to convey the great romance, unrequited love and melancholy in his life. The Great American Songbook doesn’t get any better than this.”

In Carlotta: Queen of the Cross, show girl royalty and Australian icon Carlotta will take audiences on a whirlwind journey through her amazing life on stage. Accompanied by Michael Griffiths on piano, this remarkable duo will make a show not to be missed.

“Carlotta is a living legend and it is a great honour to be her music director,” said Griffiths. “We’ve been rehearsing at her home on the Gold Coast and polishing up some of her favourite songs including classics from Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hart, Stephen Sondheim and her good friend Peter Allen. She a wonderful raconteur and has never sung like this before. Midsumma audiences are in for a real treat!”

Michael’s acclaimed one man cabaret shows have delighted critics and audiences across every cabaret festival in Australia and internationally to five star reviews and standing ovations, winning the Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe Award in 2014 and Best Cabaret Weekly Award in 2015. He was nominated for a Green Room award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Bob Crewe in Jersey Boys, and has also appeared in Priscilla Queen of the Desert, We Will Rock You! and Shout!

Carlotta is an Australian cabaret performer, television celebrity and transgender advocate who began her career as an original member of the long-running Les Girls – a cabaret show performed entirely by men – which started in 1963 in the heart of Sydney’s Kings Cross. A regular feature at an array of events and gala premieres including the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, Carlotta’s television roles include Number 96, Beauty and the Beast, Channel TEN’s Studio 10, and collaborated closely with producers on the telemovie Carlotta.

Presented at fortyfivedownstairs, Cole runs 20 – 24 January, while Carlotta: Queen of the Cross runs 20 – 23 January as part of the 2016 Midsumma Festival.

Image: Michael Griffiths in Cole and Carlotta (supplied)