Don’t call the police! No flashing, just a small gem of a show that should not need a gimmick title to sell it. A musical first seen in New York in 1985 – book and lyrics Jerry Colker, music Michael Rupert – the show follows the ups and downs of of a comedy trio through the club circuit of the 1980s, a hit American television sitcom and eventual movie stardom, battered and bruised as commercial pressures trespass into their art form. Simon Haines has a confident swagger as Ted, a club MC who is already cringing before his punchline is delivered. He recruits “angry” Phil (Benedict Hastings), a novice to stand-up and expectant father who is desperate for some cash. Ted’s buddy Kenny, a wacky comic who is battling chronic depression, makes up the trio and Guy Woolf is particularly touching in showing the thin line between humour and insanity. The simplest of formats – three performers, five musicians, comedy sketches and songs of the sort that could have just fallen short for a big Broadway musical. It adds up to a consistently entertaining couple of hour, performed with real panache. It does not take too many people to fill the Finborough, but this show deserves to pack them in every night.
Performance date: 24 November 2015