On stage, Michael Dalton is best known as frock-toting diva Dolly Diamond. Rachel Dunham is the closest thing to Oprah you’ve ever seen – if Oprah had an incredibly powerful singing voice. Luke Gallagher is a storyteller with a swoon-inducing singing voice. We chat to the triple-threat trio to hear about the highs and lows of being in a cabaret supergroup.
You’ve all performed in the Melbourne Cabaret Festival before, but not together. How did this come about?
Michael: I perform as Dolly Diamond, but I wanted to do a gig as Michael. Luke and I wanted to perform together, and then we went to watch Rachel do Oprahfication, and fell in love with her. The girl can sing and the girl knows how to perform!
Can you describe what The Three of Us is about?
Rachel: We’re all brought together for one night. We arrive thinking we’ll each be the star of the show, so we have to work out who’s going to have top billing.
Michael: And I think maybe we learn a few life lessons along the way. We haven’t written those down. Or maybe we learn bugger-all.
Will there be any audience interaction?
Michael: It’s interactive in that it’s really up to the audience to pick their favourite.
Rachel: It could be different every night!
Luke: It’s not exactly Eurovision –
Michael: – it’s more like the Voice.
Did you base the show on the ‘cabaret diva’ stereotype?
Michael: Yes! Rachel took on a character like Oprah, I do Dolly and Luke is an amazing vocalist who runs a production company. We’re all strong, but what we’re also good at is tongue-in-cheek. We’re not divas all the time, but we want to play on the fact that we can be a little bit like that. We’re all capable of giving each other a moment, but just not for too long.
Does this mean there’ll be more of a comedy element in the show than in your previous work?
Rachel: For me, definitely – my last show was funny but as a performer it was very taxing and intense. For me this is a little romp.
Luke: That said, I have no doubt that it’s going to be a big sing. There’s no way that the three of us could be on stage together with a four-piece band without it being a big sing!
Speaking of singing, Music Director Cameron Thomas is arranging songs by George Gershwin, Cole Porter and Destiny’s Child for you in a ’40s swing style. What was behind your choice of music?
Luke: We’re bringing contemporary stuff into a genre that we love. The look of the show really does have a 1940s look about it. We’re doing a Madonna number, but in a swing style!