By Liam Shand Egan
Bondi Theatre Company’s new cabaret ‘Broadway Rescue’ opened on Sunday October 20th to a nearly sold-out audience. If you were curious as to why the show was so packed on a beautiful Sunday afternoon at Sydney’s most iconic beach, it’s very simple: The show is very very fun. The talents of Rebecca Spicer and Justin Rynne were on full display as they moved through the Broadway songbook. The choice of songs was very broad so as not to alienate the audience and encouraged some near me to sing along. Their performances were so wonderful I wanted the entire show to be just the two of them going from song to song rather than be hassled by the plot. The plot in a jukebox musical is often a hindrance and while Broadway Rescue is no exception, Spicer and Rynne really convinced me to love this show and audiences will be delighted with their performances. Particular highlights for me were Rynne’s joyous performance of ‘Singing in the Rain’ and Spicer’s rendition of ‘On My Own’ from Les Miserables. I cannot stress enough how fun the musical numbers of this show were, delivering all the talent required of a stellar cabaret while also not taking itself too seriously. To this point, a technical issue at the latter half of the show was covered so comedically by Rynne, you would have believed it was part of the show (were it not for Rynne declaring otherwise). Apart from the occasional cue dragging or a prop being misplaced, the show was an enjoyable and relaxed way for me to spend the afternoon. The show is loosely based around an actor on Bondi Rescue and his romantic interest. Every song in the show is accompanied to perfection by Shirley Politzer OAM and her accompaniment would cover any vocal issues during the performance, if there were any, which there wasn’t. However, cabaret shows are traditionally free form and it is strange to watch the show go to all the effort of writing a script with 3 acts and then include skits that don’t have a connection with the plot. By getting rid of the longer narrative scenes in favour of shorter skits, more time could have been spent on the songs that the audiences were lapping up and would showcase the community the theatre resides in. All that being said, I could watch a man fall in love with a shark over and over again and the choice of song for this sequence was AMAZING! Also, the production might want to avoid encouraging audiences to reach for their phones as the cumulative effect of multiple camera phones (with the flash on) recording the show is very distracting. Cabarets have a long tradition of promoting emerging artists and Broadway Rescue is a perfect example of that. As actors and performers, Justin Rynne and Rebecca Spicer are exemplary and I look forward to seeing them in shows going forward. Broadway Rescue is a light hearted show that I really wish I had thought to take my grandmother to. I look forward to the next performance and you should too. The final performance for Broadway Rescue is Saturday October 26th @ 9pm.
All opinions and thoughts expressed within reviews on Theatre Travels are those of the writer and not of the company at large.