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REVIEW: Simply Brill -The Teens Who Stole 60’s Rock n Roll

Review by Markus Hamence – Performance date: Saturday 17 February 2024, Gluttony, Adelaide Fringe

‘Simply Brill’ at the Adelaide Fringe in Gluttony is a captivating homage to the teenage songwriters who left an indelible mark on 60s rock ‘n’ roll. This show brings together Adelaide’s own award-winning performers Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger, and Michael Griffiths (also on keys and leading the dynamic band, not even sure how he does it all) in a vibrant celebration of the Brill Building’s legacy, the epicenter of 60s music innovation in New York City. Known for generating hits like ‘You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling’, ‘River Deep Mountain High’, ‘Splish Splash’, and ‘Oh Carol’, the show promises a delightful journey through some of the most popular songs of the 20th century.

Audiences are treated to not just a musical extravaganza but also a narrative that weaves together the stories of iconic songwriters like Neil Sedaka, Bobby Darin, Carole King, Cynthia Weil, and Ellie Greenwich. These talented teenagers gave voice to a generation, crafting timeless tunes that continue to resonate. The show’s blend of history, humor, and heart, paired with sublime vocals, great choreography and a live band, ensures an engaging experience for all. ‘Simply Brill’ is more than a musical tribute; it’s a dynamic exploration of a pivotal era in music history​​​​, AND, let me tell you… You’ll know more songs that you. would’ve imaging despite your age demographic.

With the well-known and very classic songs and beats with infectious lyrics, to the compelling and highly engaging story-telling, the trio accompanied by band weaved magic on the ample sized stage in a show that could easily stretch out to a few hours due to the volume of content that was created in the famous building. The fact that it was an hour show made it tight and punchy however. The band are accomplished and very tight while showing great respect and knowledge of this period in music. A very cleverly produced show indeed.

Markus Hamence, Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger & Michael Griffiths
Left to right: Amelia Ryan, Michaela Burger, Markus Hamence & Michael Griifiths

For those who have a deep affection for the music of the 60s or just appreciate the art of songwriting, ‘Simply Brill’ is a must-see. Its accolades, including a ‘Best Cabaret’ win at the Adelaide Fringe Weekly Award 2023, attest to its quality and appeal. The show’s creators aim to connect with audiences through a shared love for music and storytelling, making it a fitting choice for anyone looking to dive into the rich tapestry of 60s rock ‘n’ roll​​.

To tempt you… ‘We Gotta Get Outta This Place’, ‘The Locomotion’ (Pre-Kylie), ‘Leader Of The Pack’, ‘You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman’ and so many more, foot tapping, head bopping, sing-a-long mega hits.

I 100% put the blame on Michael, Michaela & Amelia for the reason why the songs were on repeat in my head for the next two days. In fact, I am so well-versed with the songs now that I could offer to be a stand-in if anyone of the threesome takes ill, haha!

I just had vision of them doing a new show for 2025 – Simply S.A.W (Stock, Aitken & Waterman), I Should Be So Lucky, You Think You’re A Man, You Spin Me ‘Round’, Nothing Can Divide Us, Venus, – all the 80’s mega hits, maybe I’ll talk to them.

In summary, ‘Simply Brill’ is celebrated for its exceptional musical storytelling, engaging narrative, and the remarkable talents of its performers, making it a standout show at the Adelaide Fringe. Get onto it this 2024 season.

For tickets, show information and dates, click here! 🙂

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