Grace Jones: New comedy troupe Grace Jones perform at Bagatelle

Jukebox Musicals

Grace Jones’ “Walking on Broken Glass” is about as reasonable a choice as can be had for a finale – anything else would be a theatrical tone-deafness mistake. And there is no doubt which song segues from “Antelope Party” into it. And the whole way down the track list we are in the audience, watching with joy as this standup quartet of comedians mine the material from their lives – as only they can, and in the best possible light. Few small groups of comic talents can achieve that. A few small comedic skill sets can be said to exist in this form, but if anyone can, they can; this is it. As co-directors Petter Olsen and Tupper Thomas well indicate. This is a show about friendship, the memory of friendship, the lost opportunity of friendship, regret of regret, friendship confirmed through and through, friendship through and through, affection among friends, friendship proved in the moments of friendship. The heart of “Antelope Party” is not that central a plot point, but a large part of the show, and a memorable and often humorous part of the overall performance, which the mainly student audience responded to in full force. Most of it however came from, and was broadly delivered by, four relatively well-known comic voices. In between opening and ending performances, the quartet performed a number of other sketch comedy-type songs, and a handful of new pieces. In the short time they were onstage and performing, the comedic and musical abilities of each member of the cast were proven. A fine television duo, maturation seems to have improved each and every one of them as entertainers. Each is a natural natural comedian, well experienced and is well groomed in a number of characteristics, and a skill for improvisation. There is a certain virtuosity at play, and an ability to work as partners in a group that transforms the very mission of “Antelope Party” from a one man show to become a cohesive, strong and successful collaborative effort.

The “Antelope Party” Side Show cast do a brilliant job of singing and being funny, but it is not the only act of skill shown. Their talents might not be seen in isolation, but put together in a collective to present and reinforce the whole story of friendship. The set is interesting, with a variety of posters, an LED screen for choreography, and props around which the group could turn for their various acts. This was beautifully executed and made for an interesting set piece in itself. But there was something magical and otherworldly about the way the cast approached their roles. And they succeeded wonderfully. Each of the group had the chance to strip back their act to show their audience the range of acting skills and interacting and vocal adeptness each has – the result was a colourful and well staged evening. And for what they asked, they got from each other and each other.

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