THE REINVENTION OF US
10/03/2016 - 11/03/2016
Gird your loins for an evening of song, sass and the occasional profanity.
Bringing all the different aspects of their singing together into one ultimate extravaganza these two classy broads will move you to tears, laughter and hard liquor (worst case scenario).
Doors open 7:30pm. Drinks and nibbles available for purchase. Language!
Cafe LOL, Wall Street Mall, 211 George Street, Dunedin
Thu 10 Mar – Fri 11 Mar, 8:00pm
$15.00 – $18.00
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Theatre , Comedy , Cabaret ,
The atmosphere fizzes
Review by Jenny Gleeson 12th Mar 2016
What’s not to love about the reinvention of Charlotte McKay and Harriet Moir? Dominated by musical theatre numbers, interspersed with a couple of operatic pieces, and solidly based in a comedic theme, this cabaret-style show is a lovely, lovely thing.
These ladies can sing. They pick excellent songs and they tell great jokes in between each song. Then they sing songs with jokes. Then they use songs to create more jokes. And just when you think you’ve got the show sussed, they change tack and make you feel very, very sad, momentarily. Yes, you laugh a lot, next you mist up a little, and then you applaud plenty.
Veterans of song and the stage, both have been singing since they were young and both are clearly vocally trained. A good sized crowd overtakes café LOL in the Wall St Mall, and hearing gorgeous music, sipping bubbles, eating chocolate fudge slice and surrounded by pretty shops qualifies to some, myself included, as close to idyllic. The atmosphere fizzes.
Songs range largely from contemporary to older musical theatre, which they deliver with wonderful voice and dramatic characterisation that betrays their considerable performing experience. In a refreshingly eclectic mix, I know some of the songs well, while many others are new to me.
The fly in the ointment of this mostly excellent show is the song ‘Moving Right Along’. In today’s expectation of equal rights, describing a man as having a “head too big for his tiny brain” and other various insults, or later calling a past date “a fucktard” is inappropriate, given that if, conversely, a man were to blithely sing or say the same about a woman, he would be given short shrift. When the ladies pointedly sing each insult to a different male in the largely female audience, I am embarrassed, and secretly applaud each man’s goodwill in taking it so good-naturedly. However, the show rapidly moves on from this sexism and recovers nicely.
The evening’s songs are cleverly linked with very funny dialogue about their lives, and the bumper crop of jokes is of a surprisingly high calibre. Their dialogue is written on cards and read out, which may be a norm for similar local musical theatre shows such as Underground Broadway, but for a bigger show like this with a wider audience, it is better to learn these lines by heart. My friend does not agree with me, and forgives them this, feeling that the bonhomie generated is akin to an entertaining 21st birthday speech. With the extremely funny recap of their lives to date, there are some similarities.
Their songs are so well chosen that I struggle to name a favourite, but Charlotte is supremely wonderful with ‘A Word On My Ear’, the physicality of the finale ‘Casting Call For a Best Friend’ is a gorgeous farce, and I will never again hear the ad for British Airways without thinking of their superb renditions, which are not just nicely sung, but are full of wit and constitute one of the best musical jokes I have seen.
They perform ‘What Makes Me Love Him’ and ‘Stars and Moon’ with rich poignancy, and the inclusion of ‘Ach Ich Fuhls’ is a great treat for opera lovers.
At this wonderfully high level, there can never be too much of Charlotte and Harriet. Fingers crossed they will stage more shows in the future, because there is plenty of space in Dunedin entertainment for it, if the size of the crowd is anything to go by. This is a hugely entertaining evening and the memory lingers and makes me smile.
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