From the moment Rhonda Burchmore and Trevor Ashley hit the stage at the Playhouse at The Arts Centre, the giggles begin in the audience that end as full belly chuckles at the darling cabaret.
The show is a slow burner and takes a little while to warm up, and after two fairly low energy numbers Ashley bashfully admits he’s out of breath and struggling.
Punctuated by funny video fillers to take care of the set change, I was surprised how hard and how loudly I laughed at these two talented and charming performers (but often at them, and not with them, which I think was some what intended in the concept of the show). Skits as Ellen and Portia, as The Little Mermaid and Ursula the sea witch, as Adele, the song “She’s Not Your Barbie Anymore”, and appearing as Kris Jenner and Kim Kardashian, ABBA…. The list of funny and awkward performances goes on. All of these performances were based on stereotypes, and while sometimes funny, sometimes offensive, the show did hit the mark with it older audience. Stand outs included Ashley as Adele (I’m not sure I’ll ever here “Hello” without hearing “Hello, can I upsize?” any more, with the song centered around a never ending hunger), Ashley as Ursula the sea witch (Ashley really came into his element in these scenes, with the song “Stay in the Seas” that attacks the current government, commitments to Safe Schools and climate change), Burchmore’s Ellen DeGeneres on embracing your inner lesbian (because there is one in all of us, she claims), and finally, Burchmore as Sia with her rendition of Chandelier- hysterically funny and musically quite pretty.
The one skit that absolutely must go is the “Real Housewives of ISIS”; a symbol of bad cultural appropriation, it is racist, sexist, inappropriate and cringe worthy, with the audiences’ audible gasps and a few boos that should indicate that in metropolitan and multicultural Melbourne, we won’t accept this low grade and simply crass attack.
They really kick it up a notch when they come out all singing, all tap dancing. Paired with gorgeous and sparkly costumes that are well done as quick changes, the twins are a delight to watch. It’s worth noting that this show is as exactly as bold and brassy, raunchy and raucous as suggested, with quick witted humour taking each other apart (with love), and jokes about sex, love, politics and life. The whole thing is a little sloppy, a little on the spot and a little unexpected, it’s a car crash that you can’t look away from, and really don’t want to because your very curious and kind of enjoying it.
Their band the “Twinks” are a bunch of talented musicians who do well to put up with Ashley and Burchmore coming over to fondle them, more than once, but their musical talented, timing and ability to follow their sometimes scattered leads.
Juvenilely funny and a spectacle to behold, this awkward and funny night out at the theatre plays at the Arts Centre until 17th April. Could be a rich for some though at $60.00 a ticket.