Let’s get something straight here: women wear their emotions on their sleeve and men bear the weight of the world on their shoulders and soldier on, right?
Well, not according to Vince Fusco and Max Garcia-Underwood, in Tears, Beers, Beautiful Girls: A Musical Survival Guide. In the intimate setting of Harry’s Bar, the boys take us through the multiple chapters of how to deal with break-ups and the flurry of emotions and personal development that follows. They provide us with survival tips on how to emerge on the other side, relatively unscathed and a (hopefully) wiser person.
Fusco and Garcia-Underwood are experts at exposing their raw emotions and personal experiences in front of a room full of strangers – no small feat, particularly Fusco’s teary opening song. It is equal parts awkward and heart-wrenching to watch a performer cry on stage, more so, when you are aware that the inspiration from these songs has come from their own lives. Even more so, a man! That’s right ladies, men cry too.
The lads portray the two sides of the story of a breakup; the heartbreaker and heartbreakee. Each side has its associated guilt, grief, and hindsight. With the aid of a keyboard and acoustic guitar, Garcia-Underwood and Fusco tailor covers of popular songs to their stories and accompanying guidelines for how to “not be a jackass”. They deal with the tidal wave of moods and revelations that is love and romance (and sex). Both men are vocally endowed and deliver each song with enthusiasm and verve, shedding a fresh interpretation of the lyrics that the original artists don’t often deliver.
The seating arrangement was a bit of a double-edged sword, stunningly intimate and allowed the audience to be up and close and personal with the boys, but the closeness of the seats and lack of elevation of the performance space meant that as Garcia-Underwood and Fusco moved around the stage, the view was often obscured.
Nonetheless, each song was better than the previous. The standouts were an acoustic cover of ‘Misery’ by Maroon 5, and a medley of ‘S&M’ and ‘Trouble’ … expertly accompanied by Fusco gyrating and thrusting his hips at the front row.
An enjoyable, hilarious and revealing performance that showcased the musical and theatrical talents of these heartbroken young men.
Reviewed by Nathan Giaccio
Venue: Harry’s Bar
Season: 8 June
Duration: 90 minutes