review of Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz by Susannah Marks

Ali McGregor’s Jazzamatazz, Something on Saturday review

July 1 2016

Review and photographs by Susannah Marks

I was lucky enough to go to Ali McGregor’s Jazzamatazz at the Something on Saturday series with three children in tow and enjoy an afternoon of jumpin’, jiving’ jazzy beats and sheer joy.

Jazzamatazz features Ali McGregor, co-artistic director of the Adelaide Cabaret Festival, accompanied by keyboards, drums and double bass.

The glamour of cabaret meets classic children’s songs

Ali took to the stage looking fabulous in a red dress and heels. Little ones were invited up to the front of the Banquet Room by the stage where they gazed up at Ali with admiration.

Ali’s rich vocals filled the room and we were in for an hour of fun and favourite songs as she infused cabaret glamour into some classic children’s songs, some jazz favourites and some more modern numbers.

Review of Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz by Seesaws & Cellar Doors

A fabulously cosy venue with cabaret ambience

The show was at the Banquet Room in the Festival Theatre, and the venue felt cosy and intimate with tables and chairs set up cabaret-style. The low lighting made it feel like an evening performance and there was plenty of comfortable seating on offer for those who needed it or who simply wanted to sit back and relax and let their children wear themselves out!

Song list and special moments

Ali performed a variety of different songs from different genres. There were children’s favourites such as the alphabet song, If You’re Happy and You Know It, and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star , plus a fabulous mash-up of What a Wonderful World and Baa Baa Black Sheep, which went down well with the audience.

In the Jungle/ The Lion Sleeps Tonight” provided an opportunity for some wonderful audience interaction. Ali asked the children what animals they might find in the jungle and then invited two children up to the stage to play a monkey and a lion. After a bit of a warm up the audience was invited to cackle at the monkey and roar at the lion to wake them up during the song.

Ali then asked the children for suggestions on how you can cool down on Adelaide’s hot days which provided a nice lead-in toThe Ice Cream Man. Next up was Rockin’ Robin which was high energy and got people up and dancing. I even spotted a couple doing proper rock and roll dancing.

I’d seen Ali perform her version of Bjork’s It’s Oh So Quiet at the Something on Saturday Family Gala and it was a joy to see it again. The nine year old was ecstatic when Ali sang Beyonce’s Single Ladies , and the five year old particularly loved Who Let The Dogs Out.

Review of Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz by Seesaws & Cellar Doors

An afternoon of dancing and good fun 

All around the room people were dancing and having a good time. Little ones were twirling around to the music and expressing themselves, parents were bouncing babies or toddlers on their hips, and there was a bit of singing along from the audience. At one stage some giant blow-up balls were thrown into the audience, and got bounced from one person to the next.

Review of Ali McGregor's Jazzamatazz by Seesaws & Cellar Doors

There were a number of families with smaller children there, and I think they probably appreciated the opportunity to move about during the show and to let their jiggles out.

I’d really like to take my children to see Ali sing again. It’s true when they say she’s insanely talented, and it was wonderful that she shared some of her talent and love of music with this younger Adelaide audience. Jazzamatazz was a great way to spend an afternoon.

Photos and autograph signing

After the show had finished we were invited to come and say hello to Ali and have photos taken with her. She was also signing autographs and CDs.

Something on Saturday Kids’ Corner Workshops

Most Something On Saturday shows have a related Kids’ Corner Workshop. This one was all about creating your own trumpet from lengths of plastic irrigation piping and decorating it with paper or scraps of fabric. Very shabby chic!

My fellow concert goers loved the Kids’ Corner Workshop and spent a good half hour there creating their masterpieces. The amount and the variety of craft materials was impressive and the staff were friendly and happy to lend a hand.

Something on Saturday Kids' Corner Workshops

This review was published on Play & Go Adelaide. You can see it here.

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