This is hard to review, basically because I thought my ears were bleeding for most of it - despite my wearing the earplugs recommended by Frank McCone - which was a tad distracting. Some of the show was fun (some just puzzling), but most of it was ruined by stupidly, pointlessly, painfully, harmfully high-decibel canned music. Lots of complaints from fellow patrons at interval about the volume - and quite a few people left (one whole table on the stage was abandoned for Act Two). I am not a wuss about loud music, but this literally hurts.
if you value your aural health, don't go. I am really not exaggerating,
and if the Street is not willing to moderate the volume then they must
certainly be hoping that Mark McCabe doesn't have a free evening during the run.
the exception of the always astonishing Maude Davey, and faultless
performances on trapeze and hula hoop from circus artiste Anna Lumb, Glory Box lacks the novelty and subversive edge Finucane & Smith gave us in their original Burlesque Hour.
Demi-monde darling Moira Finucane essentially reprised a food-based
repertoire we've mostly seen before. An attractive young man in swimming
trunks did a very silly and unrevealing quasi-strip-tease, and a couple
of dancers krumped in vintage lingerie, but these acts are hardly
cutting edge. Worst in show was an ingenue in a few strategic diamante
strands who offered an unedifying karaoke rendition of "Feelin' Good"
(NB: Ladies, if you are nubile and naked, it may not be your singing
that is getting the applause). There is a novel wettish-fetish scene,
but I'm not sure it was worth the elaborate set up we had to wait
through in order for it to proceed.
There's lots of
audience participation, and plenty of people seemed to be swilling the
Kool-Aid along with their champers, so rusted-on fans of burlesque - and
Finucane - may well enjoy this. If you buy table seating on the stage,
you will be sitting behind the speakers, which may help - unless you're
shy. If you're sitting in the theatre proper, invest in really good
earplugs and sit as far back as you can. It will still be too loud for
comfort, but may not actively rupture your eardrums.