Review By Tatum Stafford
If Wednesday night’s performance of More Sh*t We Like To Sing provides any indication of the future of local theatre talent in Perth, there’s no doubt we’re all in safe hands.
This show is a sequel to Sh*t We Like To Sing, which had a triumphant run earlier this year. The premise of both shows is a simple one: a group of musically talented friends have joined forces to, as the title suggests, sing songs they enjoy performing.
But there’s a lot more to it than that. Throw in slick choreography from Shannon Rogers, sound design and support from Sarah Connolly, and expert vocal direction from Grace Johnson (who also features in the cast), and you’ve got a production that showcases each of the six cast members spectacularly. The show is a love letter to musicals we know and love, and also serves to highlight some lesser-known gems that, as Dylan says in her introduction, “should be added to your musical theatre playlists ASAP.”
The cast are a well-oiled machine, and produce some incredibly memorable moments throughout the diverse set list. The ‘soft open’ of “The Sexy Getting Ready Song” from popular TV show Crazy Ex-Girlfriend contrasts beautifully with the fierce “Cell Block Tango” from beloved musical Chicago. Producer/Director Dylan Dorotich and Assistant Producer Jed Cowper should be commended for their bold choices throughout the evening’s program – it was refreshing to cover such a wide variety of shows and thematic material in such a condensed timeframe. I’m hopeful that in future iterations, the set lists are similarly grouped into more emotive moments (which formed the unofficial Act 2 of this show), and powerhouse group numbers cleverly inserted to provide a bit of comic relief.
On to the cast, which was comprised of Charlotte Louise, Dylan Dorotich, Grace Johnson, James Dalgleish, Matthew Arnold and Max Conroy. There was an immediate ease and familiarity amongst the group, who mingled with the audience as we arrived; creating a welcoming space and setting the tone from the get-go. Each member is vocally strong and is given a chance to showcase their diverse abilities in songs that are slow or upbeat, full of choreo or more simplistic.
Though the glitzier, fast-paced numbers in the unofficial first act were entertaining and extremely fun to watch, I felt the more emotive moments towards the end of the show packed a definite punch (and based on the applause they received, I’m sure the audience felt the same way). Grace led “Requiem” from Dear Evan Hansen with so much poise and connection to both her character and the audience, Dylan and Matt gave a performance of “You Matter To Me” from Waitress that was impossible to tear your eyes away from, and Grace and Dylan’s acting in the belty “Dogfight” from Dogfight was sublime.
A shout-out also to Max’s powerful “No One Will Ever Know” from Jekyll & Hyde, Charlotte’s tickling take on “Show Off” from the Drowsy Chaperone; a very well-known song amongst theatre lovers that she managed to transform into a fascinating character study between high kicks and turns, and James’ hilarious feature in “Turn It Off” from The Book of Mormon.
There were unfortunately a few microphone and sound issues during Wednesday night’s performance, which hampered the closing number, “Backstage Romance” from Moulin Rouge, slightly. It also impacted some of the incredible belting from Charlotte, Dylan and Grace in “When The Chips Are Down” from Hadestown – but I’m sure this will be rectified for future performances, and it only impacted a few of the show’s louder moments.
This show was incredibly slick, and above all, entertaining. It’s a must-see for local musical theatre nerds, and I can’t wait to see what songs the team have in store for us for their next performance – as an Aussie, I’m hopeful we’ll see more homegrown musicals like Muriel’s Wedding thrown in the mix. Bravo to all involved!