BWW Review: Dynamic Duo Lights Up Theatre On The Bay with Award-Winning A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS
As part of their world tour, drag artists Le Gateau Chocolat and Jonny Woo opened A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS at Theatre on the Bay on Wednesday night. True to its description, the pair of these international and award-winning performers jam-pack their musical showcase with "hilarious hijinks and shady shenanigans" that is only outshone by unforgettable outfit choices.
After a questionably long instrumental opening, Le Gateau Chocolat graced the stage in one of many bedazzling frocks and began a bass-booming rendition of The Phantom of the Opera. More subdued on stage left donning a blonde wig and comical mask choice, Jonny Woo joins in on the duet and the pair set the tone for their cheeky, dark-humored musical romp. The chemistry between the two is wonderfully palpable and not a single joke or quip fell flat.
Among their repertoire were numbers from CHESS, CABERET, FROZEN and a handful of audience shout-outs; ending with a GREASE-themed sing-along. Their choice of show tunes were good and the performances worked well to showcase musical talent and audacious lyric changes - the simplicity of the overall 75-minute production allowing space for the style of each performer to (sometimes literally) shine.
Gateau is especially talented in terms of vocal range while exuding a command of the stage in Titus Andromedon-esque fabulosity. Not only does Gateau bounce off of Woo, their interaction with the audience is also wonderfully done. Woo might not be as vocally memorable but has excellent comedic timing and performed some of the most side-splitting numbers in the show. With "Lip Sync For Your Life" precision, a LES MISÉRABLES song shows off an astonishing ability to change physical characterization; whereas a performance of Mein Herr with an unsuspecting audience member was fantastic.
Aside from their vast musical knowledge, what was most impressive during the performance was the sense that the duo is truly committed to their craft. The audience might not have been the most enthusiastic the two have had but Gateau and Woo roll with the sashays as they remain enthusiastic, warm and high energy throughout.
A special mention should also be given to sound and lighting design. Cues were perfectly timed and the simplicity of the staging coupled with well-rehearsed lighting plots made the show flow very well.
It would be interesting to see how a weekend audience would respond to the on and off stage shenanigans of this production. Breaking away from the black slacks and backing chorus of all-too-familiar musical revues, A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS is a fabulous take on the musical theatre.
Photo credit: Supplied
A NIGHT AT THE MUSICALS will be performed at Theatre On The Bay until 5 October. Tickets range from R120 to R200. Get your tickets from Computicket or by dialing the Theatre On The Bay box-office on (021) 438-3301.