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`The Olivia Newton John Story’ captivates audience

June 30, 2013

Clubs-Venues, Reviews

REVIEW: Greg & Laura Doolan, Rob Rosenlund

Venue: Tweed Heads Bowls Club

June 29, 2013

By Shirley Broun

TRIBUTE shows are a major part of the live performance arena these days and when a friend invited me to join her to see the `Olivia Newton John Story’ at Tweed Heads Bowls Club on the Queensland Gold Coast last night (June 29, 2013) I thought `why not’ – it ticks all my boxes (I love Olivia Newton John, I love live shows and I was really in the mood to be entertained).

Greg and Laura Doolan

I can tell you I was definitely not disappointed. In fact it was one of the best nights of pure entertainment I have enjoyed in a very long time.

The `Olivia Newton John Story’ was actually a featured part of a full show starring those crazy and hilarious former Wickety Wak stars Greg Doolan and Rob (Kermit the Frog) Rosenlund. Combine their zany humour and spontaneously funny antics with Greg’s wife Laura’s dynamic vocals … and you are in for one tremendous night of fun, laughter and incredible musical highlights.

With all the fanfare befitting the `star’ of the show, Laura with her long, flowing dark hair and captivating vocals swept onto the stage singing Olivia’s `Long Live Love’ followed by all-time favourites `Banks of the Ohio’ , `I’ll Be There, `If Not for you’ …

The musical memories flowed one after another and … just for a moment … I closed my eyes and Laura’s voice transported me back to a live performance of Olivia Newton John’s. It was as if the universal star was there in person singing her own hits with an invigorating new sense of purpose and expertise. Take a bow Laura!

For fans of Olivia’s music – which last night seemed to be the entire auditorium – the hits kept on coming … Jolene, Magic, and the Grease classics like `Hopelessly Devoted to You’, and a `Summer Loving’ duet with Greg , who also injected his own style of humour and enthusiasm into the John Travolta-inspired `You’re the One That I Want’, `Grease Lightning’ and `Let’s Get Physical’. His mischievous sense of musical mayhem generated a high level of unbridled spirit and hilarious fun on stage, buoyed by his long-time Wak co-star Rob Rosenlund on whom the spotlight shone for his rendition of `Stranded at the Drive-in’.

There were many highlights of this highly entertaining event including Laura’s exquisite delivery of the Farnham/Warlow/Newton John- inspired `Don’t Cry for Me Argentina’ which attracted a standing ovation.
And, of course, the Wak-inspired humour that flowed throughout the performance including the ever-innovative story-telling of the ultimate host Greg Doolan was another highlight. Even his mum had a smile on her face as she watched her boy in action, doing what he does best. His excellent musicianship was also captured in his guitar solo of the Shadow’s hit `Apache’. One of my all-time favourites.

In this debut presentation of `The Olivia Newton John Story’ featuring Laura Doolan and, as Greg emphasised, supported by Greg Doolan and Rob Rosenlund, the emphasis was on a fun-filled evening of quality performances, interspersed by Wak-inspired humour and mayhem and, in my opinion, a show that is a `must see’ when next it is on at a venue near you.

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