I missed out on being old enough to appreciate Nikki Webster by about three years. Having seen Comedy group Baby Boy Bolognese’s debut show with the Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival, PeaceByPeace- The Rise And Fall, I feel more than ever like I missed out on something big.
PeaceByPeace is the tale of a late 90s/early 2000s teen idol band, and their bumpy journey through the music industry.
The cast of characters is thought-out and executed, with actors delivering subtly ironic nuanced performances as the pop group sensation from their rise to fame to their subsequent fall from it.
Whether or not you are a child of the decade, you will enjoy this show. The fun is accessible without being base, self-aware without being hypercritical, and clever without being sarcastic. There is no air of superiority, Baby Boy Bolognese are joyous in their performances and generous with their humour.
The entirely original musical numbers are particularly stellar. They capture the inanity of their inspiration, and are delivered with just the right amount of irony. Involving music in such an integral way is a brilliant break in form, the spacing out of the music numbers through the show allowing for a beautiful journey through both the fictional band’s trials and the emotional stakes of the show.
The moments when the show truly shines are those when the cast are allowed to interact as a group. The group scenes are perfectly balanced and paced, allowing each actor to show their comedic strength and bounce off the energy and talent of the others. The group is full of spontaneity and fun, improvised moments gelling perfectly with the well-written narrative and allowing for some much needed release.
The show falls down in the pacing, unfortunately. Where the characterisation and motivation is done superbly the exposition is often repetitive, leaving some scenes feeling heavy and unresolved of a well built up tension. The lack of stagecraft, particularly the laggy transitions, drops the wonderful energy between scenes. With an edit of scenes down to their necessary and funniest components and some smarter scene changes this can all be resolved, and these issues don’t detract from the overall energy and fun.
PeaceByPeace is a mindful sort of show, full of heart, fun, gusto, and terrific music numbers that I could listen to again and again. I will be first in line at the midnight release of their album.
If Beiber can have Beleibers, then consider me a devoted part of the PeaceByPeaceCorps.
PeaceByPeace- The Rise and Fall is on at the Factory Theatre this Friday, the 9th of September, and this Sunday, 9/11 at 7pm.