Presented by Adelaide Festival Centre
Reviewed 9 June 2019
Megan Mullally and her band Nancy and Beth are touring the world and landed in Adelaide for the Australian premiere of their show.
The band Nancy and Beth is the creation of Megan Mullally, who is recognisable from her role as Karen in the hit television show Will & Grace. She is joined on stage by her co-creator Stephanie Hunt from Friday Night Lights. Mullally took the lead of the show as the namesake but there was strong interactivity amongst the full ensemble.
Despite both having an established popular culture fame they did not rest on any of their well-known caricatures. They presented their talents as standalone singers and stage performers outside of roles they may be better known for. There was only the one under the breath Will & Grace comment that made it into the show.
Their take on treasured songs from decades gone was pulled together through precise harmonies and a finely tuned performance that would be suitable to any size stage. Some of the more intimate movements and the connection between the performers, band and audience would work in Fringe or larger vaudeville settings.
The five piece multi-talented band came on stage in prison overalls and provided a delightful cabaret-lounge support to the show. They interacted and connected nicely with Nancy and Beth (we playfully never find out who is who) to the point that their synchronised movements and performances added fun layers of comedy to the overall production.
The band received a unique introduction from Parks and Recreation star (and husband to Mullally) Nick Offerman. Adelaide was singled out and its aspects that would stand out to the audience were used as reference points for introducing the band. In this case, churches (and serial killers), which created a fun intermission to the cabaret and provided a neat break prior to the gospel inspired music.
There was some subtle banter with the crowd but the priority of the overall show was in the music and the well crafted physical movements. Megan Mullally and her band Nancy and Beth is a formidable production and highly entertaining cabaret show that involves high level of vaudeville elements and a few US references that may not always hit the mark with an Australian crowd.
Megan Mullally and her band Nancy and Beth are performing in South Australia for two nights only as part of the 2019 Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Reviewed by Alex Dunkin
Rating out of 5: 4 Classic Camp Vaudeville
Venue: Dunstan Playhouse, Adelaide Festival Centre
Season: 9-10 June 2019
Duration: 1 hour 30 mins
Tickets: $74.90 – $89.90