Sweet Dreams (Michael Griffiths)
Brisbane Powerhouse, Powerhouse Theatre
Former Jersey Boy Michael Griffiths is back as modest Scotswoman Annie Lennox, using just his voice and a grand piano to recount her life through compelling, heartfelt song in “Sweet Dreams”.
Spot-lit, but also bathed in some sublime lighting, Griffiths draws the audience in, however, the Powerhouse Theatre is a difficult space in which to capture cabaret, which is, at its essence, an intimate form. That said, however, cabaret is also about the music and in this regard, Griffiths excels. As he showed in his nuanced portrayal in his previous cabaret hit “In Vogue: Songs by Madonna”, he is an engaging entertainer, marvellous in musicianship. And in “Sweet Dreams”, this is no better seen than in the juxtaposition of his stirring ‘There Must Be An Angel’ with a delicate and gentle version of ’When Tomorrow Comes’. Indeed, there are many melancholy moments within the show when angels send false missives, but these are balanced with some enjoyable audience participation through provision of backing vocals.
With first person reflection, Griffiths charmingly entertains with witty anecdotes and honest, emotional observations, punctuated by the poetry of the unplugged-style delivery of Lennox’s familiar tunes. In examining her split and reconciliation with band mate Dave Stewart and the reality of relationships after romance, Griffiths is full or sass and eloquent in rage as the Eurthymics front woman sharing the fear, the dread, the content of her head. When it comes to superb showmanship of bittersweet lyrics, just like the metaphoric missionary man, you don’t mess with Michael Griffiths as Annie Lennox. … And you’d better believe.
Photo c/o – http://brisbanepowerhouse.org/