Going into Jew Revue, I knew this might be a historic show. It is public knowledge that the identity revue is facing a possible rebrand, and whilst I had never seen a Jew Revue before, I knew it was one of the most highly cherished and regarded shows at USyd.
Thus, the pressure was on Fake News, Fake Jews to deliver, and I am happy to say that, despite the show’s name, the constant hilarity and wicked comedy were all too real. Directors Aidan Molins and Jestika Chand, both USyd comedy veterans, have devised a simultaneously intimate yet larger-than-life show that kept the audience laughing and giddy even when nothing was happening on stage.
The show started with an all-cast musical number with each cast member being a unique member of a news team, such as sports reporter, cameraman and keyboard polisher. The loud, proud musical number set the show off and running — and from there it never once slowed down.
Each member of the cast played perfectly to their strengths onstage, creating a melting pot of talent and a diverse range of comedic styles that never failed to get a laugh from the audience. Carrying a show with such masterful comedic timing, brilliant performances and innovative audience engagement for over two hours is a testament to the abilities of every single member.
It’s hard to pick favourite sketch, but I must give major props to the eternally funny Jeromaia Detto for his roles as a hopelessly romantic chain letter killer and Love Actually call card handler. Theo Murray and Lyndon Carney as scientists insulting each other based on scientific fact — only to come together in an onstage kiss — was also a highlight. This was all melded together with slick video sketches, including John Robles’ field reporting at the Sydney Fish Market.
My only criticism was that many of the songs were somewhat underwhelming, not quite memorable, or seemed out of place. Having said that, the second act’s opening number “Awkward Sex” will probably be my new shower song, and Matt Friedman’s Old Testament rap made me long for a full album release.
Fake News, Fake Jews overall was an emotional rollercoaster that I did not want to get off. One moment, I was laughing my head off at Patrick Sunderland’s air humping; the next, saddened by Annabel Cameron’s failed attempts to reunite with her ex through fake French idioms (and accent); the next, warmed by Chiara Angeloni’s speech on cherishing every moment of life, only to have it concluded with a dacking and a fidget spinner.
If indeed this is the final Jew Revue, Aidan Molins, Jestika Chand, and the whole cast and production team have put together a beautiful swansong of a show that I will remember fondly. Congratulations.