[title of show] an original broadway musical

[title of show] an original broadway musical
Music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and a book by Hunter Bell. Magnormos. Theatre Works, St Kilda. May 4 to 15. Return Season Aug 26 to Sept 11.

[title of show] is my new favourite thing. Magnormos present the Australasian premiere of the show about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical, and it rocks.

Magnormos could only have found a better Hunter and Jeff (Michael Lindner and David Spencer) if they had somehow extradited the real Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen to play themselves. I can’t believe I’ve never seen Lara Thew (Heidi) before and was blown away by her performance. I’ve also never experienced Laura Fitzpatrick tackling a role like Susan before, and her dry-ice sense of humour and timing were hilariously brilliant. It’s a fantastic cast with a vibrant energy you can’t afford to miss.

Theatre people, you need to see this show. It may only have a cast of four and one keyboard, but it’s the most honest, thought-provoking musical you’ll see all year. For those searching for inspiration, there’s “An Original Musical,” for those with self-doubt “Die Vampire Die.” The show is highly genre-referential, meta-theatrical and deconstructive, and has a strong understanding of the language of theatre technology. [tos] is an exercise in unbridled ambition, and the genre needs more Hunter Bells and Jeff Bowens.

The only disappointment about last night’s show was that these stellar performers were working to half a house. The show in [tos] sells out, and it’s a pity the real show isn’t doing the same. It may not be flashy, it may not be expensive, but boy is it exciting.

Ian Nisbet - Reviewed Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Photo: Sebastien Arnold

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