An Andrews Sisters Tribute at the Adelaide Fringe – Review
by Carla Caruso
★★★★★ 5 Stars for wartime nostalgia
The forties are very much in vogue right now, with World War II books and movies (hello Jojo Rabbit) in the spotlight.
But for the Adelaide vocal trio, Three Little Sisters, taking inspiration from this era is nothing new.
For a short run of shows amid the Fringe, the songstresses – Tania Savelli, Shelley Pantic, and Melanie Smith – recreated the close three-part harmony sound, pioneered by the Andrews Sisters during the ‘swing’ and ‘boogie-woogie’ music era. To boot, the cabaret spectacular was officially endorsed by The Andrews Sisters Estate in the US .
I took my mum, Carmela, along to the opening night at Norwood Concert Hall as a treat, and so, I thought I would let her take over this review. Over to you, Mum…
I knew all the songs because they’re from the old black-and-white movies. But if you know nothing about The Andrews Sisters, ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ would be one song you would relate to.
The women were a group of three sisters who did a lot of entertaining for the US troops. They even had hit singles with Bing Crosby because they harmonised really well together.
My Mum and Dad, if they were still around, would have appreciated the tribute show even more.
It was a fairly big production. Downstairs, the tables and chairs were set up cabaret-style, and the performers mingled with the audience. Upstairs was the balcony, where we sat. The performers were backed by a South Australian band from the armed forces [the 10th/27th Battalion Royal South Australian Regiment Band]. They were very good, and they’ve played around the world.
Behind the singers, they also showed photos of the real Andrews Sisters [Patty, Maxine and Laverne] and interviews that’d been recorded with them. One song they dedicated to their own grandparents, while sitting down, showing photos of them.
Another subject they touched on during the show was that, at some point, the lead singer, Patty, went her own way. At the time, the other sisters brought out a song, basically saying, ‘Why did they always give her the lead parts?’ But in the end, they all come back together.
During costume changes, the show’s narrator sang a song, and a burlesque dancer also performed. Each vocalist sang little solo parts too, and their voices were pitch perfect.
The entire performance was very, very professional. They had everything, from the hairstyles to the movements and costumes, down pat.
At the end, they got a standing ovation, and so, they came back to do one more song.
I really don’t know how they have the energy to do it night after night – the big smiles, the enthusiasm, the makeup, the hair. Obviously, they love it!
The show’s final performance is on 23 February 2020, but keep an eye on the Three Little Sisters‘ website for future events.
For more information on the Fringe, please visit the Adelaide Fringe website.
At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.
Image Credit: Three Little Sisters
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