Like Mariah (Josh Daveta)
New Globe Theatre
Despite the infamous New Year’s Eve performance that never quite was or the drama of her “Mariah’s World” reality tv adventure, few can dispute Mariah Carey’s massive and magical voice. And from the moment of Josh Daveta’s ‘Sweet Fantasy’ entrance into “Like Mariah”, there is indeed a spirit that envelopes the room as audience and performers join together in celebration of everyone’s favourite diva, Mimi (just don’t dare mention Whitney Houston).
This is a show full of fun from the bouncy pop melody of ‘Touch My Body’ with swinging piano accompaniment from Musical Director Parmis Rose and audience ‘volunteer’ muse, to a discoesque ‘Emotions’ with channel of backing vocalist Cassie George’s incredibly high upper range vocals, amongst its 16 song set list. And when phone torches are held aloft in sway to the encore of ‘Hero’ there is perhaps no more fitting testament to the complete satisfaction of its audience members than the standing ovation that soon follows.
Those who have seen Daveta before know what a versatile performer he is. In “Like Mariah” he is as charismatic as ever in between song banter and audience interaction. And his vocals are sensational as he goes from a high octave belt to an almost whisper within the smallest of space; his soaring ‘Vision of Love’, Carey’s lauded debut single from her eponymous debut album, is worth the price of admission alone, full of cresendoes and a spectacular belting bridge.
Songs and sentiment journey through all range of emotions, meaning that the smorgasbord setlist includes something for everyone. From a riff-filled, audience clap and sing-along ‘Always Be My Baby’ to a moving, slow-tempo ballad ‘My All’, Daventa’s controlled bright and clear vocals serve as the show’s biggest star, sympathetic as they are to each individual song’s key signature, tempo and style… which is entirely appropriate for a show that tributes an artist who holds record as having the most Billboard Hot 100 No. 1s by a solo artist (18), the most weeks at No. 1 of any act (79) and the chart’s longest-running No. 1 of all-time, ‘One Sweet Day,’ with Boyz II Men (16 weeks).
With the support of Rose and backing vocalists Lachlan Geraghty, Aya Valentine and Cassie George, Daveta has created something very special that will hopefully be shared again with Brisbane audiences sooner rather than later.