Fringe review: An Andrews Sisters Tribute

It’s claimed that nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, but it’s indisputable that An Andrews Sisters Tribute time-shifts the Norwood Concert Hall with a charming program and polished performance that captivates its audience.  ★★★★

Feb 22, 2020, updated Feb 22, 2020

The show is historical and chronologically based. A string of Andrews Sisters hits is unfurled, beginning with a movie clip of the real thing. Local singers Tania Savelli, Shelley Pantic and Melanie Smith – the Three Little Sisters – then appear and are immediately engaging with “In the Mood”.

It is good to hear acknowledgement of the Boswell Sisters’ three-part harmonies in a beautifully arranged version of “Cheek to Cheek”.

So many well-known songs are offered. You would expect “Apple Blossom Time”, “Apple Tree”, some Latin and calypso, and you’d not be disappointed. There is also a lot more, including a punchy take on “Hold Tight” (a bit risqué in its time), “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, and always the heart of swing.

The sisters might have got tired of “Rum and Coca-Cola” but it is so catchy, and the tribute trio nail it while mingling with the audience.

Peter Noble is MC and also contributes vocals where the original songs feature Bing Crosby, such as “Swinging on a Star” and an individual “Route 66”. To his credit, he does not try imitating Crosby but gives the songs his own treatment.

Josh Koop is notable, too, for the way he excels on trumpet for the standard jazz instrumental “My Funny Valentine”.

The singers ace their of-the-time choreography while continuing to sing beautifully: not an easy task. There were surprises, too. Wait until you hear the show-stopping “I Can Dream, Can’t I?”. Ready for burlesque? Maybe you’ll get that, too.

Special mention should be made of arranger Victor Oria on piano, and the wonderful 10th/27th Battalion Royal South Australian Regiment Band, who complemented the singers’ tight performance.

Go for a blast from the past or simply go for a packed and very entertaining show from a talented trio who harmonise delightfully, and for their supporting artists.

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An Andrews Sisters Tribute has two more shows today (February 22) at 2pm and 8pm, and on Sunday at 1pm and 5pm.

See more Fringe and Festival stories and reviews here. 


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