From smh.com.au: Two years ago Broadway diva Bernadette Peters got the torch song ball rolling for Campbell and his producer wife Lisa’s first cabaret festival.
Last year the honour went to Natalie Cole and, in a further change of pace, Newton-John’s concert may have been more country, pop and rock than cabaret but it hardly mattered given the outpouring of love in the room.
Essentially a collection of popular songs, including Suddenly and Let Me Be There, and such enduring hits as Xanadu and a suitably pumped-up Physical, the show was a reminder of how multi-faceted and evergreen a career it has been.
Backed by a tight band of US musicians and the consummate Adelaide Art Orchestra, the energy level and raunch factor lifted when the singer was joined on stage by Campbell for a rousing and playful You’re the One That I Want followed by a delightfully poised Hopelessly Devoted to You. One thing is certain – and the kids from Glee are right on track – Grease is still most definitely ”the word”.
Remarkably, Newtown-John retains the girl-next-door sweetness that helped make her a star and the resilience, faith and grace that only comes with age. The performance concluded with her signature tune I Honestly Love You penned by Peter Allen. But this was no pat ending. Beautifully arranged and sung, it was genuinely touching and sounded better than ever. On this celebratory night we may have been revelling in nostalgia but everyone was on their feet and having a ball.