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King of Cabaret is back! (1998)
- Don Lane is the King of Cabaret!
Standing ovation for Don Lane
Variety Today 1998
By SHIRLEY BROUN
THE audience jumped to their feet in an excited revelry of approval … the former `King of Cabaret’ is back!
When Don Lane stepped out on the stage at Twin Towns Services Club recently to re-launch his cabaret career after almost eight years away, both he and the audience were unsure of what the evening would hold.
I am sure, like me, everyone wanted the former Tonight show host to succeed – after all he was considered the `King of Cabaret’ when he trod the boards regularly nationwide more than a decade ago.
Don’s latest audience were not disappointed. A softly spoken woman sitting next to me went along to see Don’s show because she `used to watch him on television’. She was won of the first to jump to her feet for the statnding ovation. “He’s fabulous, just fabulous,” she yelled.
Meanwhile, the man on my left remembered Don’s earlier cabaret and Tonight shows, was a big fan and said his re-launch brought back somne of the best entertainment he has seen. “He’s still brilliant – a real showman,” said the man as Don broke into a segment on Jimmy Durante.
He followed Durante with hits from the stage version of Music Man, in which Don starred in Las Vegas during the 70s. These included favourites such as `76 Trombones’ and `Trouble in River City’.
Musical Director Barry Heidereich led a brilliant line-up of talented musicians including record producer/guitarist Clive Lendich.
As for selecting Twin Towns Services Club for his important launch, Don said he knew he could rely on the venue. “It is such a good room and the people are always fabulous,” he said. Don added that it was also the place where he had introduced his then two-year-old son PJ to the audience for the first time on stage. PJ is now 14 and tall like his dad.
The lanky yank, who has called Australia `home’ since 1966, was elated with the `welcome back’ he received. “When Barry Heidereich first suggested that I return to cabaret I wasn’t really interested,” said Don. “I have a very busy life with coaching basketball at St Aloysius College in the Sydney suburb of Milsons Point; my sport commentary on the ABC; jogging daily with his blue terrier cross labrador, Boomer, and much more.”
Don said he never thought he would return to cabaret, but those who attended his opening night at Twin Towns Services Club are glad he did.
Judging from his energy, versatility, smooth vocals, laughing eyes and tremendous smile – Don too was excited to be back on stage doing what he does best … entertaining!
Don is currently appearing at venues throughout Sydney. This is one performer who knows what it means to be a true showman. He has worked with the world’s top artists including Sammy Davis Jnr.