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Review: Chriskirkpatrickmas: A Boy Band Christmas Musical at Pleasance Courtyard – Ed Fringe

Review by Tatum Stafford

On paper, ‘Chriskirkpatrickmas’ sounds like one of the funniest musicals you’ve ever seen – it’s dubbed “A Christmas Carol meets It’s a Wonderful Life meets *NSYNC”. While it does have some humorous moments, unfortunately, the story and songs fall short of being a laugh-out-loud riot.

The show centres on *NSYNC’s Chris Kirkpatrick. It’s 2009, *NSYNC are seven years into their ‘hiatus’, and Chris is desperate to get the band back together. He has until midnight to make a Christmas wish, and if it goes wrong, it could go disastrously wrong for everyone in the band.

The cast of this show were really strong; Nicole Wyland as Justin Timberlake and Emily Lambert as Lou Perlman were particular standouts. The vocals were really solid, and I particularly enjoyed the larger ensemble numbers which had plenty of energy and used the stage space well. Lili Fuller’s choreography was excellent throughout the show.

In terms of the characters, all of the *NSYNC boys are there (including Lance Bass’ predecessor), as well as Lou Perlman, their manager, and Marky Mark. There was a running gag that Marky Mark was an angel, and therefore dead, since Mark Wahlberg had separated himself from Marky Mark completely. This didn’t have the best pay-off in the show I saw, and the character felt a little confusing and under-written. In future productions of the show, I think further efforts to initially establish the ‘A Christmas Carol’ theming would not go astray, particularly as so much of the show is focused on time-travel and the ghosts of *NSYNC’s past, present and future, narrative.

One shortcoming of the show was the amount of slower-tempo songs, that weren’t filled with gags. After reading the premise of this show, I don’t think I would be alone in anticipating a bunch of boy band song rip-offs. There was one big boy-band-esque dance number, and an early song that spoofed slower boy band ballads, but I felt there were a lot of slow songs especially towards the end that could have been trimmed down, or injected with a few more jokes to keep the audience engaged.

The staging of the show was quite bare; utilising black boxes and a solo Christmas tree. I believe a few extra pieces of set dressing would make the show a lot more visually interesting, and would make some of the bigger dance numbers more engaging through further use of levels.

I did really enjoy the costuming, and there are definitely a few surprises in certain costume pieces (including a few moments with elaborately costumed back-up dancers/singers).

Overall, this show is entertaining, but has elements that felt a bit out of place. The cast are super talented, and there are a few great jokes for boy band fans, so head along if you’re eager for a bit of fun.

Image Supplied


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