FRINGEWORLD 2017 – A Case of You: The Music of Joni Mitchell (3.5 stars)

Review by Laura Money

Adelaide songstress Deborah Brennan has a case of Joni Mitchell which she brings to the intimate space of Ace’s Cabaret, Downstairs at His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth. After sell-out seasons in Adelaide, Brennan shares her love for the iconic Canadian singer/songwriter in a touching tribute complete with soft lighting, smooth backing music and impeccably delightful vocals.

Accompanied by fellow Adelaide musicians, guitarist Liam Garcia and percussionist Chris Neale, Brennan brings all of Mitchell’s most beautiful and meaningful songs to life, including Chelsea Morning, A Free Man in Paris, California and my personal favourite, Both Sides Now. Brennan is softly spoken and attempts to colour each song choice with a small personal anecdote as to why the work is important to her. She falls a little short in this venture, and some of the links are tenuous at best. The strongest moment lies in the most intimate story of them all, Brennan’s loss and how the iconic Big Yellow Taxi takes on a new meaning in her grieving mind.

Brennan has an infectious charm that carries the show through. She is so sweet and soft, the cabaret crowd hangs on her every word. Make no mistake, Brennan is a beautiful singer, her voice weaves intimately around the tables and chairs, soaring at times to the very ceiling as though trying to burst through to the street upstairs. Mitchell’s sound was so unique and rather hard to replicate, and I feel that in the moments that Brennan attempts to channel her muse she blurs her voice a little too much. It is when she sings freely and with her own voice that Mitchell’s simplicity and emotion really shines through.

A Case of You: The Music of Joni Mitchell is a gem of a show, beautiful and hauntingly simple, just like Mitchell herself. Brennan takes Mitchell’s music and spends an hour giving the gift of Mitchell to an open and welcoming audience.


When: 31st January – 4th February 2017 | 6:00pm

Where: Ace’s Cabaret | Downstairs @ The Maj | PERTH

Tickets: $31 – $40

Info: Duration 50 minutes | Suitable all ages