Standing ovation for Human Nature

December 15, 2012

Reviews, Theatre

REVIEW: Human Nature and the Australian Philharmonic Orchestra

Jupiters, Gold Coast

December 15, 2012

By On With the Show's Shirley Broun

HUMAN Nature had the crowd jumping to their feet when they performed to a packed house at the plush Jupiters Casino on the Queensland Gold Coast last night. Rarely do you see an entire room of people stand with such enthusiasm. Even a newly recruited fan, my 83-year-old father, joined the throng as they sang, clapped and danced the night away, led by Human Nature's Phil Burton, Andrew Tierney, Mike Tierney and Toby Allen.

Direct from Las Vegas, the dynamic Australian-born entertainers illustrated their popularity on the night by leading the audience in a specially choreographed routine to the Supremes classic `Stop! In the Name of Love'. Never thought I would see my father up on his feet and taking part but such was the drawing power of this clean cut, highly professional team of performers.

The show opened in style with the beautiful sound of the 50-member Australian Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of conductor Guy Noble. Human Nature were also supported by a small band of musicians who had worked with them previously. The combination of the two music genres ensured the musical accompaniment was of the highest order.

As stars of the show, Human Nature more than lived up to their `Las Vegas' image with a dynamic and energy-filled performance of what Phil described as "A mix of Xmas, Motown and more".

And the repertoire spanned the 23 years of their career beginning with a much loved favourite, "Last Christmas", the group recorded even before releasing their first album which prompted Phil to say: "Yes, that long ago".

The music of Motown, a genre inspired by their friend Smokey Robinson, was a big hit with the crowd and it was kicked off with the first Motown song Human Nature sang together ... the Jackson Five classic `Where there is Love'. The Motown mojo continued complete with all the right moves, the rhythms and its infectious beat including `Can You Feel it?' I can assure you we felt every part of the Motown spirit, thanks to Human Nature's remarkable professionalism.

The show's second half instilled the Magic of Christmas to the night - it was like our own Carols by Candlelight with Human Nature - and by this time, they had the audience eating out of their hands and forming a instant 1000-strong choir.

Brothers Andrew and Mike showed an early photograph of themselves with Santa before performing a duet for `I'll Be Home for Christmas'. Toby showed his talents for musicals with a special performance of `Baby It's Cold Outside'. And, then the impromptu `Jupiters audience choir' joined in for a medley of Christmas songs plus their starring role in Human Nature's `Stop in the Name of Love'.

An exhilerating standing ovation brought the vocal quartet back on stage for a beautiful rendition of Eternal Flame. This was an exceptional night of entertainment, enjoyed by all. We look forward to seeing Human Nature again real soon.
However, Phil announced on stage the group has been signed for a two year run at The Venetian, Las Vegas beginning January 19, 2013, so it could be a while before we see them on home turf again.

Human Nature's tour now heads to Adelaide Entertainment Centre on December 17, The State Theatre Sydney, December 19, and The Arts Centre, Hamer Hall on December 22 and 23.

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