SMA Productions – David Malek and Dale Burridge
The Q Theatre, Queanbeyan to 15 October
Review by Len Power 13 October 2016
Shows like ‘Boys in the Band’ can’t really lose. They rely on the audience’s nostalgia for songs that mean a lot to them personally. With one well-remembered song after another, the audience for this sort of thing will have a good time whether the show’s done well or not.
According to the publicity - “‘Boys In the Band’ is ‘the feel good show of the year’ – a high energy concert journeying through 50 years of the greatest songs from the biggest boy bands of all time including Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons, The Beatles, Jackson 5, Bee Gees, Righteous Brothers, Beach Boys, Simon & Garfunkel, Take That, Human Nature and Backstreet Boys.”
The tune stack for the show was well thought out with a good mix of popular songs from the various eras.
The four singers Mat Verevis, Simon McLachlan, Nana Matapule and Tom Struik have the right look in their conservative suits and patent leather shoes. Simon McLachlan has the most impressive voice with the ability to sing the high notes of the Four Seasons and Bee Gees songs. There was some very uneven singing, most notably in the Beatles song, ‘Hey Jude’, the Four Seasons song ‘Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You’ and the Beach Boys’ ‘Good Vibrations’. None of the singers gave the songs any depth of feeling.
The songs were well-choreographed and the guys performed the steps very well. The band gave a very ordinary accompaniment and was too loud for the singers much of the time.
The production had the feeling of a low quality pub show with amateurish and alienating banter with the audience, dragging an audience member onstage to sing with the group and drinking from water bottles lying on the floor. One performer wiped the sweat off his face with his hands and then dried his hands off on his pants, which was not a good look.
Nevertheless the audience seemed happy with it regardless of the quality of presentation and I believe the whole season is already sold out.
Len Power’s reviews can also be heard on Artsound FM 92.7 ‘Artcetera’ program from 9.00am on Saturdays.