|Poster by Harry Zundel (who is evidently more than just a musical director)|
I should probably start by saying I LOVE musicals, so I was never going to not enjoy the production, but I wasn't expecting it to be as cleverly done as it was. The songs were all picked from a song cycle written by Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk, and they were really slickly put together into a new (and hilarious) storyline. I think part of the reason the show went down so well with a largely student audience is that it's all about life in your 20s - for example, the strange feeling when you go back to your family home - which we could all relate to. It's amazing that such a clear story was conveyed without any real dialogue. Just like Les Mis, you might say. But with less death.
All five of the performers - Jamie Budgett, L-J Keston (the mastermind behind it all), Kita Sellers, Tom Dawkins and Oli Higginson - were fantastic. They all have incredible voices individually, but each has a different tone, and they blended together beautifully. Musical director Harry Zundel must also be given credit for the fantastic job he did and for playing the keyboard faultlessly throughout the show. Literally non-stop.
The two girls had particularly great chemistry as friends off on a road-trip to Vegas, and the trio of boys were hilarious as young guys also off to Vegas, all with one thing in mind - I'll leave it to you to guess what that was... The audience laughed their heads off thanks to the brilliant comic timing of the actors, but then many of us also had tears in our eyes a few minutes later (not from laughing, might I add.) The sheer energy of the opening number, Twenty Something, was enough to blow me away. Oh, and you can hear that in their trailer here. Yay!
Despite the very occasional moment when their American accents slipped, I don't think I could fault anything about the production. AND it's for charity. Amazing.