Musical comedy is something that can be a blessing to comedy – if the joke tanks, then you can at least have a catchy song to fill the space. Whilst it can be harder to improvise – especially when you are an all-female group of vocalists doing acapella – and mistakes can stand out more, musical comedy can capture something magical.
For Love or Money is a show which pulls it off magnificently.
A group that the great Tim Minchin has said positive things about would certainly be something that one would expect big things from. Fortunately, the four performers of Ginger and Tonic have a tight show where they all have an equal time starring. There is no way to pick out a stellar performance, as Laura Burzacott, Rebecca Moore, Jane Patterson and Danielle O’Malley were on top of their game. Not only was the music strong, but the humour was good – the show flowed comfortably, and made fun of the smug, entrepreneurial woman that is such a good target for comedy.
Musically the show is a delight. The songs are ones that an audience can clap along to and get stuck in your head – but they don’t feel like usual pop songs. Or if they do, it feels very deliberate that they are, and this makes the music engaging to listen to. Plus they have a variety of styles, which is impressive for an acapella group.
In fact, one of the only issues with the show was the venue. The Spiegel Melba was a good space, and is definitely a good performance venue in general, but for comedy it could be better. While the acoustics are excellent, the sound of laughter vanishes quickly, even when the people are laughing heartily. The performance itself was funny enough to make it work, but if they had been less engaging and humorous it could have been awkward. Fortunately, the show was strong enough to be enjoyable regardless of the space.
For Love or Money is really strong show, and something that anyone who likes a laugh and strong female vocalists should go and see. The trip out to Johnston Street will definitely be worth it, and the performance should be one of the shows you see this festival!
For Love or Money is on at 8:30pm at the Melba Spiegeltent until 22 April (no shows Monday or Wednesday) as part of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Tickets are available via the MICF website.