Adelaide Cabaret Festival
Dunstan Playhouse
Until 10 Jun 2019

Review by Jamie Wright

For just over an hour and a half – which, by the way, didn’t feel like it ran for anywhere near that length – Megan Mullally and Stephanie Hunt and their five-piece backing band put on a show unlike anything else you’re likely to see at this year’s Cabaret Festival; or, I’ll warrant, anything you’re likely to see, well, anywhere. Billed as punk/vaudeville, I’m struggling to find any label more appropriate.

The duo (dressed identically in peach-coloured tracksuits, scarves, t-shirts, glasses and hairstyles) perform a mix of superbly arranged musical numbers that show off their excellent voices; most numbers also feature the pair dancing (on chairs in a few songs) in such precise synchronicity that it becomes mesmerising.

The songs are an eclectic mix of covers of classics like ‘Harbor Lights’, ‘Fine Brown Frame’ and a delightful rendition of ‘No Charge’ (acknowledging it as the Tammy Wynette version) – then, just to change things up, they throw in their version of Gucci Mane’s ‘I Don’t Love Her’.

Between the numbers the two engage in some conversation, but it’s not typical cabaret fare; it’s more a kind of bone-dry comic patter that (on this night at least) was equal parts hilarious and baffling. The audience went wild when Mullally’s husband Nick Offerman made a quick cameo appearance to introduce the band, and later joined in on the rousing final number.

The mix of songs, choreography and conversation are so random – but the unpredictability combined with the stellar performances gives it an energy that sets it apart from other shows and makes for a quirky and thoroughly entertaining experience.