Bristling with creative energy, Moolah Rouge is one of the most polished revues I have ever seen. Ranging from physical slapstick humour to the absurdity of interspecies love between a human and an elephant, the sketch comedy was fresh, varied and brilliantly executed. The actors exhibited an impressive mastery of dramatic tension and comic timing, occasionally prolonging but never exhausting the comedic lifespan of a joke. The contrasts between straight-laced characters and their eccentric counterparts (a boorish author, a pavlova-eating zombie, an unhinged librarian) were delightfully farcical, and while punchlines occasionally fell flat, the overall quality of sketches was exceptionally high. The show had its fair share of dark humour, including a somewhat terrifying children’s clapping game-come-death eater sketch, and the “So You Think You Can Dance” video sketch was a definite highlight.
The choral and dance numbers were incredibly tight, and had clearly been rehearsed to near perfection. The overall flavour of the show was highly reminiscent of musical theatre, from the distinctive style of the dances to the orchestral band, sans brass. The a cappella money medley constituted an impressive feat of musical arrangement, and I now understand that there are few things I’ve wanted more from life than to hear a song about the taxman sung to the tune of ‘Roxanne’. While your reviewer appreciated the musical theatre-esque feel of the show, it may have alienated some audience members. Having said that, it granted cohesion to the show, and nicely complemented the loose theme of high-end corporate glamour.
The quasi-professional production values, cracking comedy and fantastic dance and musical numbers have surely made Moolah Rouge a highlight of the revue season.