Friday, November 30, 2012

Street Theatre: Finucane & Smith's Glory Box

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.

So 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.

With 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.

Good luck.

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