Hollywood Fringe 2018
Talented tuneful duo make sure the fun never stops as punters take the mic.
If anybody is hoping to see the show with the most literal title at the Hollywood Fringe this season, then this is definitely for you. Nic Hodges and Brooke Brewer return as your hosts after last year’s crowd-pleaser “Nic & Brooke’s Comedy Dance Party”, to do nothing more than cram a good time down your ears. There’s no concocted drama between our hosts, no narrative throughline, no climactic finish (unless you count a sing-along of a certain popular 80s power ballad as climactic, and I’m sure some people do). But what you do get is a pair of energetic emcees with unbeatable spirit handing out prizes to their many karaoke participants. This reviewer left the theater with a well-deserved feather boa around his neck.
Also unbeatable are the hosts’ singing abilities. Brewer’s voice is a dead ringer for Dionne Warwick’s. With her timbre, controlled hushes, and flourishing leaps she did something really amazing with her rendition of “Pure Imagination” from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Not to be outdone, Hodges also has a voice that could unexpectedly dominate at any run-of-the-mill karaoke night. Some of the highlights of this show are when they sing together in harmony, a modern-day Peaches and Herb, but with skits. The punters were of a pretty high standard too, maybe I was lucky, or maybe there are a thousand actors in plays on the fringe who want to demonstrate that they can sing, too. Volunteers pick numbers out of a hat so there’s no chance of just hearing people’s audition songs. The mood, set by the hosts, was generous and inclusive.
Clocking in at just under 45 minutes, “Nic & Brooke’s Karaoke Party” is not a party that lasts all night, which is a shame. It wouldn’t be a bad idea to send these two to a venue where they can keeping the party going for people on break from the rest of their Fringe itinerary. As for now, if you’d like a high-quality, low-brow good time, you’ll have to catch them at one of their scheduled slots at the Complex. -ZACHARY BERNSTEIN