Christine Andreas


Reported by Bill Stephens

For her first appearances in Australia, Christine Andreas chose to present an evening of sophisticated classic New York cabaret with "Here's to the Ladies," her tribute to the women who had inspired her career. Not only songs introduced on the Broadway stage by Gertrude Lawrence, Mary Martin, Julie Andrews, Angela Langsbury, Barbra Streisand, but also by Andreas herself, with the haunting "Story Book" from "The Scarlet Pimpernel".

Her versions were not as originally performed, but completely new readings of the songs of Berlin, Gershwin, Weill, Kern,and Rogers and Hammerstein, each one superbly arranged and beautifully played by her accompanist, Martin Silvestri, himself a noted Broadway composer. It was an evening of pure cabaret magic.

In a draped black ensemble, every bit as beautiful as her publicity photos had suggested, Ms. Andreas was the personification of elegance and sensual glamour, as she nostalgically sat atop the grand piano, brandy balloon in hand, to salute Helen Morgan with "Bill" from "Showboat." Later in the program, with "Love Don't Need a Reason," she paid tribute to Peter Allen with whom she appeared in the ill-fated musical "Legs Diamond," and then Edith Piaf with a soaring version of "La Vie en Rose".

Silvestri joined her in duet for Lerner and Lowe's "I remember It Well," and for a song he had written, "Cover Me". He even provided her with her lovely finale song, "Is This The Way It Feels To Love".

It was a class act from beginning to end and the perfect way to launch into the second week of the 2006 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.