There’s nothing I hate more than people going onstage and lamenting about their challenges and tribulations in the amateur theatre circuit, because frankly—who REALLY cares? However, when two comedic “bros”, Dom Hennequin and Josh Gavin, who clearly know each other inside and out get up onstage and do just that yet don’t take it seriously, it quickly became the perfect hour of musical theatre hilarity with a crowd that was lapping up everything these boys had to give.
It was a testament to Dom and Josh that for the majority of the evening I found myself laughing along, whether it was with or at them I’m unsure, it was probably a mixture of both at times, which was kind of the point! Among a simple setting that gave the impression of a musical theatre geek’s apartment, these two along with a deliciously tight band made up of keys, bass and drums (whose names unfortunately I can’t find listed anywhere outside of pianist/musical director David Youings) rollicked the night away singing an assortment of show-tunes together, solo, and sometimes over one another in their love/hate strictly platonic relationship.
La Vie Broheme is more a collection of anecdotes of Dom and Josh’s friendship and time together in the theatre world that is held together by the bond these two share, rather than a piece with a strong storyline. But any such storyline would have gotten in the way of what these two loveable wannabe’s do best, which is to not take anything too seriously. And that’s where the night really worked! Their style of comedy is similar to popular Australian comics, Sammy J and Randy, and whilst Gavin bears a striking resemblance to Sammy J, Hennequin’s similarities to Randy were more in line with his ability to put his stage partner down in a funny manner (rather than looking like a purple felt puppet…) This style of comedy is proven to work with Australian audiences as you quickly find yourself infatuated with the friendship and playful rivalry, which would have made even their many “in-jokes” accessible to a wider audience of non-thespians, of which there appeared to be a few scattered among the crowd who enjoyed themselves as much as the rest of us theatre geeks!
The vocal highlight of the show would have to have been Hennequin’s rendition of the Dreamgirls classic “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going”, while it was impressive to see a male singing a number written for an African-American female diva and be note perfect, his ability to add humour into the number in the way he mocked a variety of cliche vocal riffs that are often added into the number by everyone who attempts is what really brought the house down. Gavin also shone vocally when he took the Rent classic “Take Me Baby Or Leave Me” up a key in his battle to out sing Hennequin in their faux audition for the role of Lola in CLOC’s Kinky Boots, where he gave his all in his quest to land the role. Whilst it was clear who would have landed the role, it’s best left to the audience to make that decision—which it was!
La Vie Broheme, in this form is only playing for one more night at the MC Showroom in Prahran 6PM Sunday 18th November, and is an easy and entertaining night out leaving plenty of time for dinner and drinks afterward to wind up the week.
Written by Lachie McFarlane