[title of show]  [title of show] is “a musical about two guys writing a musical about two guys writing a musical”. First performed in 2004 it was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Book of a Show in 2008. Energy Theatre have given it a lively NZ premiere.

There’s a table to one side of the stage which is lit during the scene changes as an answer phone message plays. Larry the pianist (Hayden Taylor, also musical director) is on the opposite side of the stage. There are four chairs for the singers.   Otherwise the large space is bare.  Director Tabitha Arthur and dance coach Sam McLeod make great use of the space. They send the singers to opposite sides of the stage, right down to the front and up to the back. Lighting (by John Mahan) accentuates the narrative. The singers wear simple costumes with great little details – badges and bracelets. (Costumes by Louisa Paterson.)

William Duignan and Waylon Edwards play the two men (Hunter and Jeff) writing a musical. Duignan has a light voice which can be too quiet at some points. His physicality is good – when he slumps in frustration I know exactly what he means.  Edwards has a stronger voice and is nicely understated.  (Although, I’m afraid I had a giggle fit during one of his poses in Die Vampire Die.)  Sarah Andrews Reynolds and MaryLouise Thomas play the two friends (Susan and Heidi) roped in to help create the show. Andrews Reynolds has a real belting voice which she combines with fantastic physical comedy. Thomas’s voice is sweeter and she’s particularly lovely during her solo. Taylor is almost hidden in the dark but he provides some great comic moments. They work well as an ensemble.

Hilarious musical fun.