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BWW Reviews: ROCK GOD Worthy of Solid Praise

It is hard to believe that Joel Creasey is now a veteran of five Melbourne International Comedy Festivals. As he stands in the warm glow of the spotlight and delivers laugh after laugh you quickly realize that his polished performance belies his young age. Rock God is proof that Joel Creasey is a comedian who has taken off and is heading for a high cruising altitude.

As a comedian in his early twenties Joel Creasey has already racked up an impressive CV. Performing on Broadway with Joan Rivers, sell out runs at the New York Comedy Festival, releasing DVDs, and touring the nation doing stand-up. This is a young man who is fast living his childhood dream. He is contemporaneously emulating the deeds of his heroes and walking alongside them as a well-regarded peer. It is a rare combination indeed, but one that is most fitting for a talent who has made hero worship and personal development into a hilarious new show titled 'Rock God', which is part of the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

Everyone has a hero - that one person who they look up to and admire. These people are what Joel Creasey would describe as Rock Gods. These deities we adopt, put on pedestals, and dream of being. Of course the risk of having such idols is that they can disappoint. Similarly, when choosing a show to see there is always the risk that it will not quite be what you expect. In this regard Creasey certainly sets expectations high. Few can boast a glowing recommendation laden with an expletive from Joan Rivers in their promotional material. Creasey does. Pleasingly, Rock God meets and exceeds these high expectations. You are almost certain to leave the show concurring with Rivers' frank assessment of this bright young comic who boasts his own smart and sassy style of delivery. A style that is infectious, infused with pop-culture references, and bound to get you laughing.

Creasey delivers a most polished routine that touches on a diverse range of topics. Consider the following - sport, Broadway, touring Australia, meeting idols, funerals, and a vigorous exercise session in your childhood hometown. This eclectic array of subjects is skillfully crafted into a seamless narrative that is highly entertaining. It is also fulfilling and inspiring in its own way. For while Creasey is able to make his own life the subject of his routine, recognizing the potential humor in his collective experience, there is an obvious humility that underlies his show. Rock God delivers a take home message about idols and dreams that lives on after the echoes of the final applause have disappeared into the ether. Come the show's end you realize that Creasey has gone the full circle. From having genuine Rock Gods of his own he has become a Rock God for others - a measure of the courage of his convictions and the veridical nature of his material.

Coming from a young man in his early twenties this makes Creasey's material seem a touch prescient. You cannot help but listen and laugh as Joel regales the audience with his life experiences. This is the key to the success of the show. Yes, there are the obligatory airline jokes that are stock for comedians, but the material contains no false pretenses or facades. What you see is what you get - Joel Creasey at his entertaining best.

We all have Rock Gods in our life. Some disappoint while others exceed expectations. It is safe to say that Creasey's Rock God categorically fits into the latter category and appears certain to do well at the 2014 Melbourne International Comedy Festival. You would be well advised to grab a ticket while you can and get this Rock God into your comedy viewing schedule. It will not disappoint. Those in Sydney and Perth should also grab their tickets for the continuation of Creasey's comedy journey in the coming months.

SUMMARY: Joel Creasey is arguably a star on the rise. He delivers a highly entertaining and engaging routine that is genuinely infectious and also a touch uplifting. This show is one of the highlights on this year's Melbourne International Comedy Festival schedule. Most definitely worth seeing.

WHERE: Swiss Club, 89 Flinders Lane (between Russell & Exhibition Streets)
WHEN: 27 March - 20 April (not Mondays), Previews 27 - 30 March
TICKETS: $25 Full, $20 Conc, $15 Preview, $18 Tightarse Tuesday, $20 Group & Laugh Pack
TIMES: 9:45pm (8:45pm Sundays)
BOOKINGS: Ticketmaster 1300 660 013 or www.comedyfestival.com.au

PHOTO CREDIT: Photo supplied by JPPR


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