“What if the Breakfast Club met not in detention, but at the karaoke club?”
What a show.
If you are after a feel good, toe tapping, vibrant fringe performance then I strongly suggest you make your way over to a viewing of The Karaoke Club. Written and directed by young talent Saskia Ware, and produced by Amber Kitney at APK productions, the passion that has gone into this work shines through in every aspect of the show.
The show follows Beck (Taao Buchanan), a talented singer songwriter with stage fright, who enters the karaoke bar on an assignment from her singing teacher. With a stunningly talented cast, this jukebox musical manages to showcase the individual talents of each cast member without taking itself too seriously, throwing in some absolutely banging Britney, Shakira, and Evanescence covers that must be seen to be believed.
Beginning with a fun overture, bar owner Merle (Patrick Volpe) begins with a delightful version of Billionare by Bruno Mars, and we are first introduced to the major adversary in this show, money. What makes this show genuinely great is not just the fun soundtrack, it is the underlying plot, with all too familiar themes of financial difficulty. Despite the heavy topic, the show never loses its vibrant energy and intensity, and with a technically perfect opening night, it will only get better.
Dynamics between ‘sound desk warrior’ Grey (Olivia Morris) and Beck was fun and familiar, increasingly fond banter between the cast creating a world and attachment to the cast far beyond the hour long show.
The dancers in this show added value to every performance. Fabulously accompanying each soloist with their coordinated grooving, each dancer bought their own something special to the stage, never fading into the background. I would take too long for me to list every song I loved (hint, all of them), but I must give special commendation to the rendition of Boogie Shoes (KC & The Sunshine Band), which was such a funky good time, I Want It That Way (Backstreet Boys) and the fabulous boy band inspired dancing that accompanied it, and Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie (ABBA), performed beautifully by Paige Fallu’s Robyn.
An absolute crowd favourite was our ‘jock’ Finn’s passion filled performance of Thnks fr th Mmrs (Fall Out Boy) both pertinent to the show and just a fabulous crowd pleasing sing along, there were people on their feet all over the crowd dancing as he serenaded a mop with vigour. Adding to these performances is a flawless technical array of lighting, sound, and an interactive set that immerses you in the Karaoke club experience.
So what more can I say than I had the time of my life, and I owe it all to the cast and crew of the Karaoke Club. A must see this Fringe season.