COLE – STARRING MICHAEL GRIFFITHS AT THE McCALLUM FEBRUARY 3
Through the generosity of Donna MacMillan, the McCallum Theatre presents Cole starring Michael Griffiths on Friday, February 3, at 3:00pm and 8:00pm. Winner of the Helpmann Award, the Australian equivalent of the Tony Award, Australian cabaret performer Michael Griffiths explores the colorful life and timeless songs of Cole Porter. It’s a tale of hedonism, grave misfortune and a legacy that sparkles with wit and wisdom.
Singer, pianist, actor, composer and musical arranger Michael Griffiths has been described by the West Australian as “one of the most consummate male cabaret performers in Australia at the moment.” His popularity is far-reaching, receiving five star reviews and standing ovations wherever he performs.
With pop music as his first love, Michael grew up in Australia playing the piano by ear, dancing to Michael Jackson, and dreaming of pop stardom. Discovering musical theater later in his teens, he moved from his hometown of Adelaide to Perth to study at the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) whose alumni include Hugh Jackman. Michael graduated from WAAPA with a Bachelor in Music Theatre; he also has a Diploma in Music Composition.
This led to many years touring around Australia performing in musicals, including Priscilla, Queen of the Desert where he learned to dance in high heels. Other performances include the Australia and Japan tour of We Will Rock You, where he was thrilled to meet Queen’s Brian May. He was nominated for a Green Room Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Bob Crewe in Jersey Boys, a role he performed for more than four years. He was also in the original Australian cast of Shout!, and in the original workshop for the Australian musical Prodigal. Michael performed cabaret at Sydney’s legendary Showqueen at the Supper Club and for Kookaburra’s “Up Close and Musical” series.
In his absence, his sleepy hometown launched the annual Adelaide Cabaret Festival which quickly became the biggest of its type, hosting some of the finest cabaret performers from all corners of the globe. A few years ago, Michael stumbled across this Festival on a visit home and a new love for cabaret was born.
Channeling his childhood hero Madonna, Michael’s first one man show In Vogue: Songs by Madonna introduced him to the cabaret world. Winning the Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe Award in 2014, he toured In Vogue to every cabaret festival across Australia and beyond to Auckland, Christchurch, New York, London and Hong Kong. This was quickly followed by another tribute to another childhood idol, Sweet Dreams: Songs by Annie Lennox which was met with further critical acclaim and secured him a Green Room Award nomination for Best Musical Direction.
A chance conversation with old school friend and best-selling author Anna Goldsworthy led to his most recent cabaret show Cole, in which Michael explores the life and songs of famed song writer Cole Porter. Cole premiered at the 2015 Adelaide Cabaret Festival by invitation of Barry Humphries (also known as “Dame Edna”). A sharp and sophisticated tribute to Cole Porter’s life, Michael delivers Porter’s timeless tunes with ease, weaving classics like “Night and Day” and “Let’s Do It” around Anna Goldsworthy’s cleverly written script.
With his intoxicating combination of talent and wit, Michael stole the show at the 2016 Adelaide Fringe and his performance in Cole earned Michael a Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer in 2016, and that same year, Cole was the top-rated cabaret show at the Edinburgh Fringe. Michael will tour Cole across the United States and to the U.K. and New Zealand in 2017.
Tickets for these performance of Cole starring Michael Griffiths are $67, $47, $37 and $27. Tickets are available at the Theatre’s website at www.mccallumtheatre.com or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-ARTS. The McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.