Ali McGregor's Alchemy – a superb show

I can only assume that, if the enchanting and superbly talented Ms McGregor has truly deserted the world of opera for which she was trained, then legions of Operatic Directors must be gnashing their teeth.

Ali McGregor
Ali McGregor. Image supplied

However their loss is the cabaret world’s gain, for she is a consummate actress and comedienne as well as an extraordinarily talented singer.

Last year’s Fringe offering saw her in more classically jazz mode with the odd “mash-up” of modern songs re-interpreted tongue in cheek.

This show reveled in the trashy and kitsch pop songs of her youth.  Songs from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s were re-interpreted in a variety of musical styles, ranging from the blues to psycho-hip-hop.

McGregor’s mode is to take a song, standard or pop, and shake it by the tail, and reinvent it into something else. Recognizable, but changed by “alchemy” into another animal of entirely different spots.

Boy, she is smart! And she is so vocally versatile that she carries it off superbly.

Numbers such as 'Makin’ Whoopee' and 'I’m A Barbie Girl' offered huge opportunities for hilarious spoofs.

'Johnny We’re Sorry, (won’t you come on home?)' was a tango style highlight, as was the shimmying Latin high camp samba 'San Pedro'. “I thought it was a about a hot Spanish guy, in fact it’s an island!”

A brilliant version of “the sexiest song ever written”, 'I Was Made For Lovin’ You' was a sensual exploit in throaty vibrato, soaring to a screaming ecstatic squeal followed by a low post-coital mournful moan. No wonder this show is rated 18 plus!

McGregor was superbly supported by a trio of sophisticated and stylish musicians. Sam Keevers, her Musical Director on keyboards, the barefoot bass player Rodrigo Arvaena and Chris Wallace on drums. Tight as!

A full-on version of 'Oops I Did It Again' had the audience singing along and tapping their feet, between broad smiles and knowing nods.

Finishing with the lovely, little–known 'Is Someone Getting the Best of You' was a masterstroke. Delivered straight, it was a brilliant dénoument to a superb show.

The West Australian Idolize Spiegeltent

February 11 -17 9.30pm

Cabaret 60 minutes

Restricted 18+



One thought on “Ali McGregor's Alchemy – a superb show

  • San Pedro is actually a Madonna song, La Isla Bonita, whilst the Best of You is very well known and a cover of the Foo Fighters.

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