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Fringe Cabaret: Review

In Vogue:

Songs By Madonna

Assembly Checkpoint

Marianne Gunn

Reading Madonna lyrics aloud like poetry, the sheer absurdity of much of her work is highlighted as Michael Griffiths lovingly pokes fun at the Queen Of Pop in this irreverent hour of homage at the camp shrine of the Material Girl.

Without costume or make-up, Griffiths portrays his idol and manages to combine biography with cabaret, all the while showcasing his impressive vocals seated at a baby grand piano. Digs at young pretender Lady Gaga abound, while Madonna's 1992 coffee table book offering is also sent up with tongue firmly in cheek.

What impresses most about this hour is the musicianship of this talented Australian performer: a mash-up of Gounod's Ave Maria and True Blue is inspired, while various medleys are heavily nuanced and slickly executed. Not a note was out of place in his arrangements, even when he allowed audience requests, which ended with an exquisite Like A Prayer.

Having performed this show five times at last year's Fringe, Griffiths' return for a full run has the ability to make a Tuesday night crowd feel like it's almost Friday night.

Get into the groove before he heads back Down Under.

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