Unfortunately, the highlight of last Thursday night was not the show I went to see curiously entitled, Who is Posh Lopez? The highlight for both my date and I was visiting the quaint and visually stimulating Butterfly Club, off Little Collins Street in the city. For some reason, every time I was meant to visit The Butterfly Club in the past, plans changed, so last week marked my first rendezvous at the bar. Despite this belated visit, I have not stopped thinking about the curious little venue and can’t wait to return for another cabaret show in the not so distant future.
What initially attracted me to the aforementioned Who is Posh Lopez was the flyer that promised popular culture references galore, camp stories and music. With this in mind, I invited my most pop-culture savvy fun friend and started the night like many others, with laughs and champagne. We both had high hopes for a show that looked vibrant and hilarious but despite a few isolated laughs and some recognisable songs performed well, Who is Posh Lopez failed to thrill. This was primarily due to show structure and the delivery of the comedy.
While the show answered its central question in a somewhat touching way (indeed the reveal was the highlight), it failed in the set-up and my lasting impression was that it was predictable and somewhat superficial. Posh Lopez is in fact, Phillip Lee Curtis, a 25 year old performer who emerged on social media.
In my opinion, it is not that Phillip Lee Curtis lacks skill or talent but that the jokes needed considerably better delivery and the show a more defined and compelling structure. Further to this, despite the relatability of the subject matter, notably the various perils of being overweight and unpopular, the show lacked real substance and I left feeling as if the material was (despite its intentions) somewhat superficial. This superficiality undermined the whole journey of Posh Lopez to self-discovery and self-acceptance. It would have been far more interesting had this journey also encapsulated more of the struggle and the comedy that comes from pain and less of the fat and ugly jokes.
Curtis also had an assistant who appeared throughout the show (Andy Balloch), mainly delivering on slapstick comedy. While at first, I thought he was impressive, ultimately the performance or indeed the direction resulted in a histrionic display that had a pantomime quality to it. Again, I would argue that a restructuring and revaluation of roles and material is required for the show to work in the future.
From what I can find online, this looks like the first show of its kind for Phillip Lee Curtis. I hope that if I see him again in the future, the material is more subtle and encapsulates even more top forty hits.