Article Title:Review: The Outing, on stage in Wellington
Author or Credit:Steve Attwood
Published on:17th October 2008 - 09:28 am
Internet Archive link:
Story ID:6620
Text:The Outing - a musical story about the passengers on a big pink bus on its way to a Wellington gay dance party, and who they meet on the way. Front Room, Mt Victoria, Wellington Thursday 16 October 2008 Directed by Cherie Chapman. Musical Directors Clyde Clemmett and Louie Brandon. A red boots production. Is it fun and fabulous? Yes. Will it make you laugh? Hell yes! Is there a message? Honey, laid on so thick you could plaster a house (in a nice way). Is it great theatre? Well, sorry team, but, no. The Outing is far from the musical "tour de force" it is billed. It's more high school musical; a real one, not the recent show of USA origin. You know! Heaps of enthusiasm, flashes of talent, a lot of promise but largely amateurish and needing polish (as in some decent editing, much more workshopping to iron out the timing kinks, and some serious voice coaching). Nevertheless, I do recommend this production. For all that was technically wrong with it, it was funny, sassy, laugh-out-loud, poignant, and wonderfully relevant; and there were enough flashes of brilliance to enable one to forgive the frequently plodding acting, dialogue and continuity (the latter having enough gaps to drive the big pink bus through). There is no doubt this production resonated with its largely queer audience. And, really, that's who it's for. Indeed, there was so much "insider" humour, I worried for the straights in the audience; unless they were all fag hags of long service, much of the best humour must have sailed straight over their collective hetero heads. As for those of us on the scene well, we're all there! Camp boys and butch, lipstick lesbians, dykes, transgender, takataapui, plus drag queens and kings galore. Talk about rainbow community! There wasn't a single shade of the spectrum left out. Some of the cast of The Outing at rehearsals There were some highlights to watch for. Top of these was the stunning duet between gay basher Kaine (Ben Paulsen, who had the strongest voice of the night) and his victim Aaron (Hans Landon-Lane, a talented tenor who, unfortunately, was scaled down too low for several of his other songs, most notably I don't know how to love him, which rendered his lower notes almost inaudible. He was much stronger in the higher register.) This pair's dramatic blending of Blind Man and Feelin' Good was a scene full of pathos and resonance and was also the best acting of the night. Also worthwhile was the "kissed a girl" duet between Scotty dyke Max (Anny da silva Freitas) and straight (yeah right!) girl Jane (Kerina Deas). Staying to the end was well rewarded with a Priscilla-like finale that I won't spoil with too much detail here, except to say watch out for the Wellington landscape icons - bloody brilliant! Go with an open mind, a generous heart and expectations set not too high, and you'll have a great time. Steve Attwood - 17th October 2008    
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