Saturday, 9 April 2016

Rhonda Burchmore & Trevor Ashley in Twins, April 8, 2016 ***1/2

Melbourne International Comedy Festival
Playhouse, Arts Centre Melbourne, until April 17, 2016
Reviewer: Kate Herbert 
Stars: ***

Review also published online at Herald Sun Arts/Com Fest on April 9, 2016. KH

Trevor Ashley & Rhonda Burchmore in Twins
In Twins, two local cabaret legends, Rhonda Burchmore and Trevor Ashley, wrap their exceptional singing in an odd package that comprises campery, vulgarity, cynicism, sexism, self-deprecation and unfunny, trashy banter.

It’s like watching episodes from two totally different shows of vastly differing quality.

Twins relies on Burchmore and Ashley’s separate prowess and celebrity as cabaret artists, but also on the ridiculous notion that they are identical twins (borne by Maria Venuti), the absurdity of which is emphasised in their duet, I’m Singing With My Twin In The Mirror.

Both are considered sassy, gay icons in Melbourne but Ashley is short, plump and male (albeit famous for drag characters including Edna Turnblat in Hairspray) while Burchmore is tall, leggy and female.

The altered lyrics that they sing to ABBA’s Dancing Queen were, I think, ‘See them dance, that skinny vamp and that fat queen.’ She’s the spaghetti to his dumpling.

They rev the crowd up with their rousing medley of Pointer Sisters songs including, I’m So Excited, Slow Hand and Jump!

Ashley’s parody of Adele is a riot as he flails his arms, tosses his Adele wig and adulterates her poignant lyrics to, ‘Hello, I’m thinking about things I like to eat.’

Burchmore’s impersonation of Sia singing Chandelier is a hoot as she stumbles blindly around the stage wearing her face-obscuring wig while Ashley, in an unflattering white leotard, performs a hilarious interpretive dance.

Rhonda Burchmore as Sia & Trevor Ashley as her 'dancer'
The satirical videos of the Kardashians and Entertainment Today are really entertaining, but the video highlight is the outrageously funny and provocative ad for The Real Housewives of ISIS.

The show has compelling songs, glitzy costumes and a terrific (but scarily young) band, however the banter between the tunes is often unsuccessful, amateurish or crass and the production could benefit from an outside director's eye.

The satire of Ellen Degeneres and her partner, Portia De Rossi, doing a TV seminar called  ‘Nurturing your inner lesbian’, is awkward and mostly unfunny while the mermaid sketch may offend some audience members.

Ultimately, the quality of the musical numbers and the personalities of these two talented cabaret artists win the crowd and compensate for the show’s intermittent failings.

By Kate Herbert

Creative Team
Written by Phil Scott, Thomas Jaspers, Trevor Ashley and Rhonda Burchmore
Director - Trevor Ashley
Choreography - Cameron Mitchell
Lighting - Gavan Swift
Costumes - Angie White
Videos - Todd Decker
Musical Director / Arranger - James Simpson
The Band – The Twinks

1: Overture - instrumental
2: Twin in the Mirror (Man in the Mirror)
3: Pointer Sisters Medley (I’m So Excited - Neutron Dance - Slow Hand - Jump)
4: The Barbie Song
5: Rough and Ready Man
5A: Ellen’s Dance Music (Dancing in the Street) - instrumental
6: Age of the Lesbian Ladies Who Munch (Aquarius/The Ladies Who Lunch)
7: Hello
8: Little Mermuff Overture - instrumental/Part Of That World (Part Of Your World)
8A: Scene music (Part Of Your World/evil tritone) - instrumental
9: Warm Mysterious Hole (Poor Unfortunate Souls)
9A: Scene music (evil tritone) - instrumental
10: Stay In The Sea (Under The Sea)
11: Chandelier
12: Damn Ikea (Mamma Mia)
13: Does Your Mother Know (You’ve Come Out?)
14: Portaloo (Waterloo)
15: Finale (Loopin’ the Loop-Trashy Ladies/Pretty Legs)
16: Encore (Dancing Queen)
16A: Band playout (Dancing Queen) - instrumental

No comments:

Post a Comment