There are Madonna fans. And then there’s the Madonna aficionado. That’d be Michael Griffiths.
The all-round talent who appeared in Jersey Boys, has gone out on his own to pay tribute to one of pop music’s most iconic artists., recently perfoming In Vogue: Songs by Madonna downstairs at His Majesty’s Theatre. Did I say ‘pay tribute to’? Nay. Griffiths is Madonna: taking on the persona of the pop star and delivering tidbits of her life story so far.
Without the aid of drag – no costume, no wig, no song-and-dance routine – and focusing solely on the songs and biographic bits, Griffiths delivers his dedication to Madonna with one thing – sheer vocal talent.
That said, he’s as comfortable singing Madge’s songs in alternative tempos as he is cracking jokes about Gaga and other try-hards who’ve tried to nab the Queen of Pop’s crown.
Included in the non-sequential repertoire are references to Madonna classics such as Into The Groove, Open Your Heart, Borderline, Frozen, Papa Don’t Preach, right through to less-impressive recent releases such as Give Me All Your Luvin. And here’s the thing, while songs like Give Me, and the rather twee American Life appear as naff compositions in their original pop guise – even according to massive fan Griffiths – by the time this guy has given them a snazzy makeover, they’re worthy of classic jazz status!
It’s no surprise Michael Griffiths has had sellout seasons across Australia, in New York, and at Edinburgh. The guy is most confident translating the transgressions and glories alike of a massive star – albeit in his own way.
The only criticism I’d provide is that sometimes his storytelling is delivered a tad slow. Speed up the anecdote-telling in between the terrific singing, and I’ll go see the guy again next time he’s in town.
Pictured above: Michael Griffiths photograph by Jon Green.