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Review: Me and Otis - Movin’ Melvin Brown

Adelaide Fringe

What a phenomenon Movin’ Melvin Brown is! Surely one of the finest song and dance men to grace many of stages he has so adeptly trodden. ★★★★

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In this entertaining Fringe show, Brown has chosen the great soul singer Otis Redding as his focus. He deftly weaves a narrative of Redding’s life with all his great songs and a fair sprinkling of various dance styles in which fast and furious tap is to the fore.

It’s not unkind to say Movin’ Melvin is no spring chicken, but he certainly has lost none of the spring in his step. The man is a ball of perpetual motion energy, with a voice that blends the sweetness of the soul singer with the rougher edge of the true blues artist.

Brown clearly loves his audience and takes as many opportunities as he can to involve them in this show, with sing-alongs, dancing and, for a couple of lucky ladies, a stage-sharing opportunity.

His sheer joy at performing is evident in the infectious smile and amazing staccato laugh which the opening night audience lapped up.

The great Otis Redding songs were all there: “Shake”, “Try a Little Tenderness” and, of course, the classic “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay”, all performed to perfection by Brown, with solid backing from local supporting musicians who will definitely benefit from the run.

There were also three costume changes during the show, a couple of encores and a final few unaccompanied bars of “You Are So Beautiful” to round off a great show.

Four stars

Me and Otis – Movin’ Melvin Brown will be presented again at the Nexus Venue, Lion Arts Centre, on February 29, from March 1-6 and on March 11. He is also presenting the show The Tap-Dancing Preacher at the Flinders Street Baptist Church and Scots Church on February 28 and March 13, and a Tap Into Health workshop at AC Arts in Light Square on February 27 and March 12.



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