Andre Tonight! is a joyful Melbourne Fringe late-night show full of heart and joyous optimism.
Andre DiVenuto (Chris Ryan) is a charming, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed aspiring TV show host. Unfortunately, his band has abandoned him and no talk show is complete without a band, so he considers cancelling. Luckily, Meg (as in egg) claims musical expertise and drunkenly stumbles from the audience to seemingly save the show before she starts pill-popping and taking too many calls from an unfortunate ex.
As a twenty-something with many friends trying to get their breaks in entertainment, this desperately enthusiastic man is all too familiar to me. Andre Tonight! is one of those shows you don’t want to write too much about – there’s special guests and surprises galore here. The beauty of this show is how well audiences have kept the secrets.
You’ll want to be prepared for some involvement. Regardless of whether or not Andre speaks to you, Andre and Meg enable audience participation with a rarely-seen ease. It’s fun and comfortable to be involved in this show, though don’t stress over it. It’s honestly like participating in any other talk-show audience.
The cancelling-the-show theme was lengthy to the point where we felt maybe we should actually leave. There were a few other moments in the show that felt a little long, so perhaps the show could be cut down to 45 minutes in total.
The characters are well-researched and executed with a warmth and sincerity that you’ll forget it’s all put-on. The hub’s Rehearsal Room gives enough space to have an adequate crowd for cheering and fun, but a small enough room to keep things intimate and involved.
Andre Tonight! is a tremendous success. It’s funny and sad, but chocked full of love. It’s about following your dreams regardless of hurdles. It’s about believing in yourself and supporting each other through journeys to hopeful success. In Andre Tonight!, comic genius meets tragic desperation.
Andre Tonight! is a part of Melbourne Fringe Festival and is on at the Fringe Hub, Rehearsal Room until 30 September 2016.