Rave review for Olivia Newton-John at Adelaide Festival

Rave review for Olivia Newton-John at Adelaide Festival

From AdelaideNow.com: FLANKED by sequinned and feathered friends, an elated Olivia Newton-John was clearly back in Xanadu as the Adelaide Cabaret Festival opened in flamboyant style.

And last night the Australian singing superstar showed us she’s still the one we want.

The evergreen export who’s taken Australia to the world brought her world back to Adelaide in a stunning concert at the Festival Theatre.

Looking slinky and sensational in a shimmering black outfit, Newton-John won the crowd over with the things that have made her a special performer: a beautiful voice, a natural personality and a massive heart that reached out to everyone lucky enough to be there.

Starting with standards like Little More Love and Sam, she revealed all the qualities that have made her a star of undiminished glow.

She crossed back to the ’70s for Xanadu, singing a range of hits from Magic to Suddenly and the universally loved title track.

The first sequin jacket came off when she launched into a country selection of the hits that made her such a big star in the US, from Jolene to Let Me Be There and Don’t Stop Believing.

She sat with a posse of her backing singers and guitarists to give that country comfort to the massive crowd.

Then she got Physical and soon had the crowd pumping and on their feet clapping while she showed she had lost none of her energy or ability to work an audience.

Cracking jokes and sipping tea between songs, she showed all the fame and misfortune hadn’t changed the person she is.

One of the many highlights was a song called Heal Me, an anthem to the many people facing the challenge of cancer and to help raise awareness for her wellbeing centre in Melbourne.

Having beaten breast cancer 15 years ago, her heartfelt emotions made it one of the more moving moments in this outstanding show.

Newton-John then unleashed a collection of her classic up-tempo numbers that set pulses racing and showed she knows how to rock with the best of them.

She then delivered her “cabaret” song, a touching rendition of the Judy Garland classic, Somewhere Over the Rainbow, with a voice that took us all where the bluebirds fly.

Then there was John Denver’s Country Roads, filling the auditorium with smiles.

After that, it was on to Grease, the movie that made her an international star and the biggest surprise of the night, when festival artistic director David Campbell appeared.

Clad in a leather jacket and pants, he joined Newton-John in a raunchy rendition of You’re the One that I Want. She then sang Totally Devoted to You and ended the night with her signature tune I Honestly Love You and so do we, Olivia.