Wednesday, 30 November 2011
Musical Works, Nov 30, 2011 **
Give My Regards To Broady
Music, Lyrics & Book by Karin Muiznieks, Music by James Simpson
Housewarming: A New Musical: by Apollo Productions
Theatreworks, St. Kilda, Nov 27 to Dec 10, 2011
Reviewed by: Kate Herbert on Nov 29, 2011
MUSICAL WORKS OFFERS A DOUBLE BILL of short, new Australian musicals, the first of which is Give My Regards to Broady, by Karin Muiznieks and James Simpson, and the second is Housewarming: A New Musical.
The most successful component of Give My Regards to Broady is the range of classic, music theatre songs and it would be best served by ditching everything but the songs and getting a writer to develop a strong story around the catchy tunes.
The self-referential story deals with two wannabees, Karin (Claire Healy) and James (Leigh Jane Booth), trying to write the next big musical.
This shares something with [title of show], the hit, US musical about two guys writing a musical about writing a musical.
However, this production, directed by Scott Gooding, is let down by a sketchy narrative, a lack of dramatic development, thin characters, clumsy dialogue and laboured gags.
The singers work hard to pump energy into cheesy dialogue but are most effective and entertaining when singing.
We’re Gonna Make It, sung by Healy and Booth, is a perky anthem for young hopefuls and, in Melbourne Cup, Healy’s bright tones blend well with Joe Kosky’s rich voice.
Many songs reference local topics. North Vs South, sung by Healy with Lauren Murtagh, is a song-battle about the rivalry between those living north or south of the Yarra, while Suburban Love talks wittily about Melbourne’s suburbs.
The show needs a title song and a clear narrative through-line to give the songs a framework on which to hang.