Wednesday, September 18, 2019

PARTNERS IN CRIME - Rhonda Burchmore and Lara Mulcahy

Devised and performed by Rhonda Burchmore and Lara Mulcahy
Canberra Southern Cross Club – 14th September 2019

Reviewed by Bill Stephens

Rhonda Burchmore and Lara Mulcahy may be chalk and cheese, but both are consummate entertainers, and together they’re pure magic.  Their latest cabaret, “Partners in Crime”, is a delightfully silly entertainment based on the premise of two friends locked up for presenting bad impersonations. As part of their punishment, they’re obliged to entertain the in-mates, which they do by presenting... you’ve guessed it... bad impersonations of famous,  and sometimes not so famous, duos.

Rhonda Burchmore and Lara Mulcahy in "Partners in Crime" 

Actually some of the impersonations are not too bad at all. In fact some are very good indeed. That is if you can accept Ms Burchmore as Kenny Rogers to Ms Mulcahy’s Dolly Parton singing “Islands in the Stream”, or Ms Burchmore as Kiki Dee dueting “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Ms Mulcahy’s Elton John.

Yes it’s that silly.  Imagine Ms Burchmore as Cher belting out “If I Could Turn Back Time”, or dueting with Ms Mulcahy’s leering Sonny for “I’ve Got You Babe”. Perhaps as Glinda and Elphaba from “Wicked” singing “Because I Knew You”, (You guess who plays which), or Ms Burchmore recreating Hugh Jackman singing  “The Greatest Show”, or Ms Mulcahy as the bearded lady belting out “This is Me”.

Have I said too much?

Lara Mucahy (Sonny) - Rhonda Burchmore (Cher) 

Can’t help myself because there’s more…much more. The costumes and wigs are worth the price of admission alone, because, besides being very good singers, both Burchmore and Mulcahy are wonderful clowns, and watching them create the characters with lightning costume changes accomplished before your very eyes, is part of the fun.

Although it may sound chaotic, and at times chaos threatens, the routines are well rehearsed and the songs very well sung, even including some choreography, all of which is accompanied by a hardworking live band, at this performance no less the marvellous Michael Tyack on keyboards and Sam Evans on percussion.

“Partners in Crime” is touring widely so it’d be a crime to miss it when it comes to a venue   near you.

This review also appears in Australian Arts Review.