Adelaide Fringe 2015
It contains just four characters and the music itself but constantly refers to a wide gamut of other Broadway musicals and famous stars. Filled with exquisite musical references, it had the audience in fits of giggles at its irreverent honesty and gorgeous references to famous stars and great moments in theatre. A little dated and (dare I say it) a little fluffy as a piece of writing, it nonetheless has an innate charm and this production certainly falls high in the ‘recommended’ category.
The Bakehouse Theatre itself is a perfect place for this intimate piece of theatre, where the audience are so close we can almost breathe the stage paint and we are intimately involved in every joke, whether musical, physical or linguistic. The acting was very strong: Scott Reynolds and Rod Schultz, as Hunter and Jeff, hold the piece together. They are also blessed with clear, sweet voices – not one word was lost in the entire production. The tension between the two energises the play and the audience. Whilst some of the language and jokes are not for the faint-hearted, it is all delivered with such charm that you’d have to try and be offended.
Claire McEvoy and Amy Nagesh, as Heidi and Susan, offer a clear counterpoint to the men. Both have terrific commitment, though Claire could occasionally miss the note and really could have just enjoyed her part a little more. Her face was consistently still. Amy managed to laugh and relax a little more and held her character together. If I have a niggle about the piece it is that the choreography isn’t quite together, which can be distracting in a musical ensemble piece. The set is extremely simple but that felt very right as the show really is all about the characters, the music and the rather surreal journey they travel as they write their play about a play.
The audience absolutely loved the show and we were all laughing out loud. There were many that seemed to anticipate the jokes; perhaps they were also followers of the musical – a cult group known, charmingly, as [tos]sers. All in all, this is a delightful piece of musical theatre, delivered most professionally in a great venue. It was a terrific evening out and a great deal of fun.