Words by Emily Underwood
What do you get when you mix the Russian Mafia with A Capella? An outrageous, dynamic and witty musical story by the name of ‘Pretty Boys’. Fans of A Capella, an energetic music genre that has gained significant popularity in recent years, will be enthralled by this comedy which sees an aspiring all-male vocal group, Shining Lights, being caught up in a world of almost-stardom, obnoxious fans and one very corrupt record label.
The Festival Statesmen Chorus presents the story of a well-meaning, yet off-the-wall boy band that will do anything to make it to the top. Each of the four members of the band emerges throughout the story as idiosyncratic personifications of the A Capella genre, but embraces every aspect and never ridicules it. The performance showcases the individual talents of each member of the chorus, and is an accurate representation of how far the chorus has come since its origins in 2009. Formed by music director Jonathon Bligh, the chorus was formed with the hope of discovering and nurturing the talents of young male singers from Adelaide. The vocalists have a plethora of repertoires under their belt, including many awards and travelling overseas for competitions.
The script in their latest performance, written by the wildly talented Mitre Kammash is comedic and light-hearted in tone, yet never obscures the true talent of the male singers, or the power of the A Capella genre. The comedic timing and verbal dialogue is sparkling, the characters bouncing from one another with wit and fervour. The costume changes are frequent and shockingly camp, causing the audience to split their sides whenever another performer slides, trips, or sprints onto the stage. The vocals, covers of popular 90s songs from almost every cheesy boy band you can think of, are excellent testament to the vocal abilities of the singers. Interspersed amongst scenes of chaos, in which the aspiring boy band finds themselves conned by a record label, bombing their first performances and desperately trying to pay back a ridiculous debt, are powerhouse renditions of hits such as I Want it That Way.
The audience is on the edge of their seats to discover whether the underdogs of the A Capella world ever realise their dream of stardom and a debt-free life. There’s cheering, shocked gasps, and endless roars of laughter. The performance is highly recommended for audiences who appreciate A Capella, but also new fans who have never had the pleasure of hearing such a versatile and entertaining genre. Prepare to laugh, feel rather sorry for a few characters, and be thoroughly entertained by the catchy vocal covers.
Overall rating: ★★★★★