Review By Tessa Stickland
The Burton Brothers, Josh and Tom, have seriously outdone themselves with Vegas Residency! Fresh off the back of their Adelaide Fringe run, their MICF opening night was slick, in sync, and hilarious.
The Vegas setting is perfect for the Burtons' latest hour of sketch comedy. Vegas is all about the glitz, the glam, being cheesy and sleazy — all areas in which the Burtons and their characters thrive.
A musical number opens the show, transporting us to Vegas and setting the tone. They're Siegfried & Roy with the vocal stylings of Elvis, Tom Jones, and a splash of Sinatra. They’ve got quite the set of pipes, especially for this style.
Each sketch works as its own piece, but they’re woven together wonderfully. The overall structure and pacing is well balanced. They also balance being the straight man and the funny man, each brother having their fair share of both.
I think this is good for two reasons. One: when I perform, I know I like both roles - so it satisfies me in a personal way to see the role types shared. Two (more importantly): it keeps the audience on their toes and keeps each sketch fresh, as you don’t know exactly where the dynamic is going to go (until each scene is established).
The heart at the core of the Burton Brothers’ work is their brotherly love. There are 'adult' jokes and content for sure, but the Burtons don't rely on vulgarity. This wholesome feeling stops it from becoming totally blue.
Don’t get me wrong – it’s still an 18+ show. But there’s something refreshing about it. Maybe it reminds me of my relationship with my own brother? It’s dumb and silly and gross and loving at the same time.
I think the ‘sibling magic’ is an important ingredient in their recipe for synchronicity. Knowing someone for your whole life (or most of your life, for the older sibling) gives you that extra edge in reading them. Assessing body language and those small cues becomes second nature.
However, it’s not actual magic. You’ve still gotta put in the work to turn that innate connection into a show. And the Burtons do. This is a polished, well rehearsed show. But they leave enough flex in to riff with the audience and have fun with each other.
Tom clearly loves to try and make Josh break. And he succeeded a few times. But it’s not a huge distraction. It’s just enough to make the audience feel like they’re experiencing something unique to that night. There’s something so exciting and intimate about that – the special bits only that audience got to see.
When the performers are having fun and keeping it fresh for themselves, the audience feels it. And the opening night audience was super into it! The laughs were loud, the room was buzzing. The little bits of audience interaction were golden.
So, if you need a trip to the glitz and glam, get on down to the Chinese Museum (and then up the stairs to the Silk Room) and settle in to be wowed by the Burton Brothers.