Christine Andreas

Db June 2006                                                                                                                   Festival Theatre Stage -ADELAIDE CABARET FESTIVAL

Christine Andreas has dazzled Broadway audiences with her crystalline voice for three decades; so there was little doubt that her recitals at this year’s festival would fail to thrill. Whilst most of the show was devoted to her ‘ladies’ – Streisand, Gertrude Lawrence, Helen Morgan and Julie Andrews, a good deal of time was taken to meet Christine herself and her partner/pianist Martin Silverstri.

Theirs was a slick, very American approach to cabaret – confident, incredibly professional and though her voice may have at moments seemed too large for the intimacy of the art form, it never failed to thrill due to Andreas’ sheer artistry and conviction.

Often Streisand-like in its power and gorgeous vibrato, in the opening number, Fly Me To The Moon, Andreas displayed a large voice of almost operatic proportions; but something emerged upon slimming it down for recital that made you react almost viscerally to its beauty of sound and almost erotic allure. Like the timeless Barbara Cook, here is an all too rare mature voice still able to produce the purity needed for My Fair Lady’s I Could Have Danced All Night. Equally adept at the more pop approach required for Peter Allen’s Love Don’t Need A Reason, perhaps finest of all were a seductive almost dreamlike performance of Weill’s song of longing – My Ship and from Streisand’s Funny Girl – The Music That Makes Me Dance.

Generally pianist Martin Silvestri and Andreas worked together well – in fact, hand in glove. The duet I Remember It Well from Gigi with Silvestri playing Chevalier was fine; however the arrangement on Burton Lane’s On A Clear Day You Can See Forever was busy, rhythmically complex and loud – and yet the strength and clarity of Andreas’ voice didn’t blur its delivery. Here was a musical treat presenting one of Broadway’s finest couples at their best.