Review: An Andrews Sisters Tribute

The Norwood Concert Hall was transported back to the twentieth century as music lovers basked in the nostalgia of boogie-woogie and swing. This concert of timeless tunes was presented by the Three Little Sisters who embodied LaVerne, Maxine, and Patty Andrews through their close harmonies, vintage attire, and slick choreography.

Three Little Sisters | photo by JLM Studios

The trio featured the talents of Tania Savelli, Melanie Smith, and Shelley Pantic. Each is a seasoned performer in her own right, but the combination of their voices was a joyous blend. Add to this refined dancing, gorgeous dresses, and a humorous overview of the Andrews Sister’s history and you have a great recipe for a hit show.

Highlights were ‘In The Mood’, and ‘I’ll Be With You In Apple Blossom Time’ which featured a sentimental tribute to Savelli’s, Smith’s, and Pantic’s grandparents. They finished with the classic ‘Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy’ and had many bopping along to their performances. Black and white footage and archived audio recordings featured throughout as an elegant addition to the show.

Three Little Sisters | photo by JLM Studios

The Three Little Sisters were backed by the 14-piece Band of 10th/27th Battalion Royal South Australia Regiment and musically-directed by Victor Oria. The band was a fantastic element for this genre, popularised during the war, whereby the Andrews Sisters entertained troupes and lifted their spirits in the absence of loved ones.

The band supported the performers superbly and took centre stage in a stunning rendition of Glenn Miller’s ‘Moonlight Serenade’ with an exquisite clarinet solo by their band leader, Sergeant David Portakiewicz.

Peter Noble compered the show with a voice that hearkened back to the golden age of radio. Noble sang Bing Crosby classics with Savelli, Smith, and Pantic and his rendition of ‘Swinging On A Star’ was a particular highlight.

This was a polished performance which paid heartfelt homage to a vocal trio who influenced much of popular music today.

Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewed performance: 24 February 2019
Venue: Norwood Concert Hall
Season: Closed

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