Kate Lara and husband Antonio Villano are both accomplished artists and they presented a parade of musical hits in their Fringe show Encore! The Music of Musicals.
Lara was delightful and captivating with her warm introduction, extensive industry knowledge and obvious passion for musical theatre. At the end of the first song, she was joined on the stage by Villano and the two proceeded to create musical magic together.
The nightclub stage at Bebe’s Room in Hindley Street has a full-sized mural of Adelaide’s skyline, which served as the perfect backdrop for this dazzling showcase of entertainment. The Music of Musicals brought to life a selection of popular songs from great musicals including “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Miserables, “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific, “Pie Jesu” from Requiem, “Come What May” from Moulin Rouge and “Somewhere Out There” from An American Tail.
In between songs, the duo bantered effortlessly with the audience, sharing anecdotes and stories from their lives. Lara was born in New Zealand and came to Australia with her artistic parents in the 1970s. while Villano, born in Italy, came to Australia as a young boy and started singing in a gospel choir at the age of eight.
The musical journey continued with “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina” (Evita), followed by “Bring Him Home” (another favourite from Les Mis), then Pavarotti’s “Nessun Dorma”, the ever-popular duet “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” by Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand, and “Music of the Night” from Phantom of the Opera. The extraordinary encore rendition of “The Prayer” left me with goosebumps.
The evening provided a sumptuous trip down memory lane and proved very popular with the audience.
There was one performance only of Encore! during Fringe, but the musical talent of Kate Lara and Antonio Villano can be heard at The Variety Night on June 14 at the Arkaba. They will also be performing on the inaugural Cruise of the Performing Arts in November with artists such as Elaine Paige, Marina Prior, Teddy Tahu Rhodes and John Waters.
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