Fringe Review: Three Little Sisters – An Andrews Sisters Tribute


Presented by Tania Savelli/City Of Unley
Reviewed 15th March 2018

The Andrews Sisters. Perhaps the defining sister act of all time. They delivered an optimistic, upbeat performance, and acted as a security blanket to a war-torn country. Shelly Pantic, Tania Savelli and Melanie Smith have had multiple shows this Fringe season, bringing the group’s iconic sound to venues all over Adelaide. This show was presented by the City of Unley as a free community event on a Thursday afternoon. The room was packed and the energy palpable.

Opening the show was young singer Eliza Fabbro, whetting the audiences appetite with a raw and emotive rendition of A Nightingale Sang In Barkley Square, as well as a beautiful take on We’ll Meet Again. It was lovely to see a young lady singing repoitare so much older than her!

Then, in khaki skirts and blasers, donning red poppies in their hair, Patti, Maxi and Leberne (Savelli, Pantic and Smith respectively) were welcomed to the stage. The trio opened with a bang, delighting the audience with Sing Sing Sing and In The Mood. Together, they gave audiences a brief timeline of the Andrew’s Sisters greatest hits, with asides that conveyed fun-facts and demonstrated their genuine passion for the music they were performing. They performed The Boswell Sisters’ Cheek To Cheek, explaining how The Andrews Sisters idolised them, before continuing with Rum And Coke, Bei Mir Bist Du Shein and Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree. Perching on three stools, they sung I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time, in a stunning tribute to their grandparents. The tribute concluded with three of their biggest hits; Don’t Fence Me In, Three Little Sisters and Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy – complete with polished and synchronised choreography.

Special mention must be made to the five piece band who played brilliantly under the able hand of Musical Director Victor Oria. Peter Noble was also an audience favourite, charming the crowd with Bing Cosby’s Swinging On A Star and Route 66.

A slideshow of photographic projections displayed photos of the women they were paying homage to, while authentic interview recordings gave each song a context.

Toes were tapping, bodies swaying, arms waving and hands clapping. An outstanding tribute to one of the most iconic groups of the rhythm and blues era.

Reviewed by Ben Francis

Rating out of 5: 5

Venue:  Banquet Room at Fullarton Park Centre
Season:  Ended
Duration: 60 minutes

A brilliant trip down memory lane
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About Author

At 18 years old, Ben’s training has taken him around Australia, and to Hong Kong, Paris and London, including on the West End and in The Royal Albert Hall. In 2016, Ben performed as a supporting lead in the State Opera of South Australia’s world premiere production of Cloudstreet!, under the direction of internationally-acclaimed director, Gale Edwards. Other credits include: You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown (Snoopy), The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), Wizard of Oz (Scarecrow), Pirates of Penzance (Frederic) and Jesus Christ Superstar (Jesus), for which he earned a nomination for ‘Best Young Performer’ in the Adelaide Theatre Guide 2015/16 ‘Curtain Call’ Awards. Ben also performs regularly with Independent Theatre, with roles including Peter Pan in Peter and Alice, Mozart in Amadeus, and Sebastien in Brideshead Revisited. Ben is also the producer and lead vocalist of The 60 Four scaling the falsetto heights of Frankie Valli, Brian Wilson and other vocal groups of the 60’s. A skilled musician, Ben also enjoys musically directing and orchestrally conducting local productions, including: Bugsy Malone and 13! The Musical with Adelaide Youth Theatre.  Ben is a recent graduate of Scotch College, where he was Captain of Performing Arts, and achieved Dux of Combined Studies. Since establishing Promise Adelaide in 2014, he has provided opportunities for over 100 young performers whilst raising in excess of $19,000 for charity.

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