Eurobeat – almost Eurovision (but a lot of fun and energy)
- Written by John Palmer
Eurobeat – almost Eurovision
Site B, Wolf Performance Hall, Central Library
Maelström Theatre Productions (Southampton, ON)
Written by Craig Christie and Andrew Patterson
Brianna Love, Alex Legge, Kat Fox, Vicki Laufer, Jannica Meyer, Courtney Deelen, Jake Simpkins, Josh Smith, Chris Dykeman, Mike Buchanan, Brandon Stafford, Chase Montgomery
Warnings: Mild sexual references, strobe lighting, fog machine (though neither strobe lighting nor fog were in evidence)
Audience: General entertainment
Genre: Comedic musical
Run Time: 90 minutes, including an intermission
Remaining Performances: Sunday, June 9, 2013 - 2:30pm, Thursday, June 13, 2013 - 7:30pm, Friday, June 14, 2013 - 7:30pm, Saturday, June 15, 2013 - 7:30pm
Their description: ABBA rose to prominence from the Eurovision song contest. Eurobeat – Almost Eurovision makes a complete mockery of that contest. 10 competing countries have sent their "finest" to win the contest, and the audience gets to cast votes to decide who will win.
Mine: Eurobeat – almost Eurovision is full of energy, fun, and let-loose hilarity. It is as much a musical revue as it is a comedic musical. Yes, it has a thin plot. The plot is merely the stuff that holds the various numbers and skits together.
The plot: there are representatives from ten different countries performing in a musical contest. The interludes between the performances of each of the contestants are filled by funny dialogue between the show’s co-hosts: Sergei (Jake Simpkins) and Boyka (Kelly Ann Stiers).
All of the performances were very enjoyable. Some were funnier than others, but they were all done with great singing (unmiked!) and complementary choreography.
For just the pure humour of it, my favourite was “Love Ballad #3A” featuring Vicki Laufer, with Kat Fox, Alexandra Legge, and Courtney Meloche. These performers just cut loose and had everyone roaring with laughter.
And while all the singers were superb, Brianna Love singing “Don’t Say ‘Ti Amo’” stood out with her strong, clear voice. The choreography with Chris Dykeman and Josh Smith added immensely to the impact of this performance.
I also found myself laughing uncontrollably along with “Ice Queen” (Brian Bishop, Mike Buchanan, Josh Smith, and Brandon Stafford). And I could barely contain myself during the performance of “Be-Bop for Veronda” (Mike Buchanan, Courtney Meloche, and Josh Smith). The program describes the performing group, Nepotism, as “…a post industrial, post post modernist trio influenced by Devo, Kraftwerk, TARDIS, Tortoise, Philip Glass and Karl Heinz Stockhausen.”…. No foolin’.
All told, it was a fun show – fun enough to overlook the timing issues and a general lack of precision. But in some instances the balance was off quite a bit, with the recorded backup music overpowering the singers. This was especially the case for “Oh Aphrodite” (Alexandra Legge with Brianna Love and Jannica Meyer). And in too many instances, the Serbian accents from Sergio and Boyka were so strong that we missed some of their lines.
Despite the problems, though, the show displayed superb singing and an in-your-face freedom that was a great deal of fun.
John Palmer is a former sportscaster, orchestra conductor, photographer, actor, and economist. He now is mostly retired but remains active in music, economics, and acting. He blogs at www.eclectecon.net.