Written and directed by Richard Carroll.
Musical director and accompanist: Conrad Hamill
Choreographed by Amy Campbell
Adelaide Cabaret Festival 14th June, 2017
Reviewed by Bill Stephens OAM
Ryan Gonzalez is a singer, dancer, telenovela star, three-time Eurovision Song Contestant and ex-bestie of Menudo Band-mate, Ricky Martin … or so he would have his audience believe. He’s got the looks, he’s got the voice and he certainly can shake his bootie. However due to a series of misunderstandings brought about by incompetent management, his planned Adelaide Oval concert has been cancelled in favour of this appearance in the Artspace of the Adelaide Festival Centre.
Gonzalez has a big ego, endless confidence in his own ability, and an apparently insatiable sexual appetite which any number of showbiz celebrities seems happy to help him satisfy… or so he would have his audience believe.
Commencing his show with an energetic performance of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs”, Gonzalez confides that as the only son in a Hispanic family in which he has seventeen sisters, his mother was keen that he should have an exotic name, hence Ryan. He demonstrates his musical theatre cred by singing the duet from “Phantom of the Opera” “with himself, because his big surprise guest, Christina Aguilera, failed to show up. He also treats his audience to an Australiana medley which ends with “Zanadu”.
For the most part the show is good fun. Gonzalez is a delightful characterisation and his execution of Amy Campbell’s spot-on choreography is impressive. He receives good on-stage support from Conrad Hamill who incorporates a variety of electronic gizmos in his clever accompaniments.
It seems a shame therefore that Richard Carroll’s script, which for the most part is sharp and funny, compromises the enjoyment of some by pursuing cheap laughs including several explicit references to oral sex , which at this performance drew audible gasps from the audience , and a particularly tacky audience participation sequence in which Gonzalez sings “Tonight I’m F..cking You” to an embarrassed young woman he has dragged up on stage. The use of real celebrity names and photographs as Gonzales boasts about his sexual conquests was also highly questionable.
Photo: Christopher Parker
This review first published in AUSTRALIAN ARTS REVIEW. www.artsreview.com.au