I am an Adelaide based writer, passionate about sharing fun and interesting experiences, with a particular focus on live theatre.
Sold out Adelaide Fringe show? That's Life
presented by Jack Raft
Raft gives a polished and faultless performance. Photo: Adelaide Fringe website.
Performing at the Adelaide Fringe can sometimes be a daunting task, as it can be an expensive, time-consuming and sometimes exhausting endeavour, with no guarantee of ticket sales to make it worthwhile. Nonetheless, it is a risk that some performers are willing to take. Such is case with 17-year-old singer and performer Jack Raft, who has embraced this risk triumphantly, by premiering his brand new solo cabaret show That's Life - Songs of the Rat Pack, a selection of best songs, both well-known and otherwise, from Sammy Davis Jr, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Cole Porter, at the Adelaide Fringe, after having previously performed as part of Michael Griffith's Class of Cabaret at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. Though Raft has taken a risk to mount a solo show, producing and marketing the show himself, he has nothing to be concerned about whether it will be worthwhile, as two of his shows sold out rapidly, with only limited tickets left for the remaining shows. I was most privileged to attend his first performance at the beautiful Gerard Pavilion at Morphettville Racecourse, the perfect location for such a show, and it is most obvious why some shows have already sold out, for Raft gives a polished and faultless 50-minute performance which leaves one mesmerised from start to finish.
Raft gives a performance that is very similar to that of Buble. Photo: Adelaide Fringe website
From the moment he comes onto the stage with his first song Come Fly with Me, Raft demonstrates impressive vocals for someone of his age, and presents himself confidently, exuding an exceptional stage presence, and commanding the stage with his every movement. Raft is a seasoned performer and shows no evidence of opening night nerves, as he is relaxed and makes full use of the stage space rather than remaining in one place, as other performers might do when they succumb to their nerves. Throughout the show, Raft also quickly establishes rapport with his audience, and relates to them well, with his unique humour, which makes the audience feel at ease and most welcome at his show. Moreover, Raft also simultaneously skillfully conducts his small live band of talented young musicians who accompany him, and the rapport he has built with them is quite beautiful to see. Raft confessed that they had not previously performed together for an audience before and that the show had been unrehearsed, but somehow, it is hard to believe that such a professional show, was unrehearsed. Raft also occasionally made cheeky references to Michael Buble's recent performance in Adelaide, and how he is almost the same, however, though Raft mentioned this as part of his humour, he might as well be Buble, because he gives a performance which is very close to that of Buble's.
In summary, it is quite fitting that Raft's show was performed in The Gerard Pavilion, a location renown for hosting wedding receptions, as Raft is definitely ready to be hired to sing at wedding receptions. Should he continue to pursue a career in jazz music, he is going to go extremely far, even to the point of undertaking worldwide tours and becoming a paid vocal teacher. I'd be most happy to have Raft teach my children.