by Paul and Michael Hodge
Black Swan State Theatre Company
Directed by Adam Mitchell
Musical director David Young
Choreographer Claudia Alessi
Designed by Bruce McKiven
Lighting designer Mark Howett
Sound designer Ben Collins
With Lisa Adam, Simon Burke, Matt Dyktynski, Brendan Hanson, Luke Hewitt, Megan Kozak and Clare Moore
Music performed by David Young, Jonathan Fernandes, Andrew Weir and Michael Perkins
Heath Ledger Theatre
Until September 11
The first thing that strikes you about Clinton the Musical is Bruce McKiven’s set, a spectacular bandstand in the shape of the rotunda of the United States Capitol. It should be set up permanently at Elizabeth Quay.
The show’s other ingenious device is having two actors (Simon Burke and Matt Dyktynski) playing Bill Clinton, bringing both sides of his character to life; The Big Dog and the Silver Fox, the president and the player, William Jefferson and “You Can Call Me Billy, Darling” Clinton.
The story is played rather like a series of Saturday Night Live sketches, and it’s effectively handled by director Adam Mitchell and his cast.
The music, though, is no more than adequate, especially for a main stage production. A couple of its showstoppers don’t, and some of the ensemble pieces expose the patchy vocal strength of the cast.
Two performances really got the audience up and about, though; Brendan Hanson’s wicked A Starr is Born shows that he’s got more showbiz chops than a butcher’s shop (and some nice rump as well), and Megan Kozak’s coyly-titled Monica’s Song has a hook line that is as unforgettable as it is unrepeatable here.
When Hanson and Kozak are strutting their stuff, it’s easy to forget Clinton the Musical’s drawbacks. The two of them alone are just about worth the price of your ticket.
Read the complete review in The West Australian
Now I'm getting the feeling the tide of opinion is against me here; could I have been a bit grumpy the night I hung with the Clintons? On the evidence of Will Yeoman's review in Limelight read it here, maybe so…