Merrily murdering music theatre for Midsumma
By Myron My
Who doesn’t love the glitz, glamour and grandness of a musical showtune? Presented as part of this year’s Midsumma Festival, A Night at the Musicals starring Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo showcases the vocal talents of these two world-famous artists, as they take us through a select number of songs from some of the finest musicals that have existed – but with an added shake of camp and a shimmy of cheek.
We are advised at the very beginning that this is a performance where musical theatre goes to die. The two have a highly energised presence and through rather tenuous links of somewhat aimless banter, introduce us to each song. Dressed in some shiny and often dazzling outfits, they take clever advantage of their differences in physical appearance and singing style, as each is given the opportunity to shine (and outshine the other) through their chosen repertoire.
As per the show’s cheeky premise, there are times where Gateau and Jonny hum or mumble their way through the “powerful” parts of the song, or will interject a quick comment while the other is singing, thus attempting to “murder” the song. In context these devices worked well, but within the actual performance it sometimes pulled me out of the moment and I confess I would almost have preferred to just have them sing the songs for me to enjoy, and leave those comic opportunities for between numbers.
However there are still a number of real vocal highlights from the evening, including their captivating duet “I Know Him So Well” from Chess; and while I am not a Disney fan, the performance of my favourite-ever Disney song, the titular title from Beauty and the Beast was orchestrated brilliantly with the right level of cheekiness and arrogance.
I admit A Night at the Musicals might not have got me jumping off my seat ready to belt out some show-tunes but it was certainly a fun and entertaining show from Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo who will perform a variety of musical show-stoppers for you with great panache and plenty of charm.
Venue: Arts Centre Melbourne, 100 St Kilda Rd, Southbank
Season: Until 22 January | Thurs – Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm
Tickets: $44.90 A-Reserve |Premium $49
Bookings: Midsumma Festival