The Athenaeum Theatre in Melbourne’s CBD was the perfect stage for Dolly Diamond’s 15 Year Gala Reunion. That’s right, Dolly has been performing at Midsumma for 15 years now. Originally from the U.K., Dolly Diamond is now one of Australia’s finest cabaret performers. Thanks to the City of Melbourne Arts Grants Program, Dolly was able to bring back the old crew, and some new folks, for a one-day cabaret extravaganza.
The evening’s MC was Luke Gallagher, Dolly’s old time friend, who proved a very talented performer as well. Accompanied by cello and piano, Gallagher’s version of Adele’s ‘Someone Like You’ gave me goose bumps and made me want to cry for my own lack of musical talent.
The Phones, who first performed in 1978, were brought on for a couple of a cappella numbers with Dolly. Meat Loaf’s ‘You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth’ was a highlight. It was delightful to witness a live a’cappella performance as my previous experiences have come solely from the Pitch Perfect movies. Please don’t judge.
It was amazing to see the celebration of LGBTIQ pride throughout all acts and special guests. What was most amazing, was to hear that some of the acts had been together for over two decades, playing music and fighting for equality. The Melbourne Gay and Lesbian Chorus and Melbourne Rainbow Band together add up to over fifty years of performing in Melbourne.
It was a hoot of a night! If I wasn’t laughing at Dolly’s cut-throat humour I was bopping along to the music or grabbing my friend’s leg when the music touched my heart. I was so happy that I could be there to witness the reunion of the performers, because who knows when they’ll be together again.
It was an enriching celebration of Pride and diversity through music, a night of entertainment that stretched across generations and gender.
Amber Bock is a freelance stage manager who is excited to keep you up to date with Melbourne’s best theatre
Midsumma Festival may be coming to an end, but check out their website for more shows. You can catch Falsettos at Chapel Off Chapel or The Art of Gemma Flack at Bargoonga Nganjin in Fitroy North and HEAPS more.