The Musical of Musicals – The Musical

To laugh at one’s self is often the best form of joy.

Parade Space, Sydney
Triptych Theatre

Thursday, May 6, 2010

To laugh at one’s self is often the best form of joy.

The Musical of Musicals – The Musical is a five-part cabaret style musical which honours and spoofs the musical theatre form. It is, in essence, one giant in-joke – the musical theatre world laughing at itself.

Presenting the same storyline five different times, in five different styles, this current Sydney production stars Avigail Herman, Andrew Bevis, Warwick Allsopp and Belinda Wollaston, and is playing at the Parade Space at NIDA.

Honouring the styles of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Jerry Herman, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Kander & Ebb, the musical pokes fun but at its heart, provides a tribute to these masters of musical theatre.

The plot is simple – June (Belinda Wollaston) can’t pay the rent, and the landlord (Warwick Allsopp) is coming down hard. June’s love interest, Billy (Andrew Bevis) is aiming to be the white knight in the story – but doesn’t quite have the means to help. Meanwhile, Abby (Avigail Herman) offers mostly simple, insightful advice.

The Musical of Musicals – The Musical is an absolute hoot, but the end result for the audience largely depends on how knowledgeable they are in musical theatre.

For dead seat theatre connoisseurs, it will be an easy ride and figuring out the somewhat hidden layers will be a simple task. For those with a general knowledge, it will still be a grand experience, but some of the content may go over their head. For those with a limited knowledge of the artform, this may not be the best experience, but there’s still a few good laughs amongst the respective spoofs.

Sparse on props and simple in its presentation, the show has plenty of high moments, and is stronger in the second act, where the send-ups of Llod Webber and Kander & Ebb shine above the rest of the pieces.

The cast is strong – Andrew Bevis is sensational as Jitter, the shy, hero-to-be, and Belinda Wollaston’s performance as June is both vocally strong and visually powerful – it’s a superb showing.

Allsopp and Herman also give good performances in a show that is well worth seeing for any musical theatre lover.

Anne-Marie Peard

Anne-Marie spent many years working with amazing artists at arts festivals all over Australia. She's been a freelance arts writer for the last 10 years and teaches journalism at Monash University.

Anne-Marie Peard

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