Only an Octave Apart ★★★★★ Wilton’s Music Hall | Sep 28 - Oct 22, 2022

Cabaret is about connection. It involves performers establishing an ease and intimacy with the audience that is quite different from theatre. Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo may be an octave apart, but what makes this show work is that the audience is taken into their musical relationship and shares the clear enjoyment they have in each other's company. From "Autumn Leaves" to the wonderful pairing of "Walk Like An Egyptian" with Phillip Glass' "Akhnathen," the two work beautifully together to evoke moments both sombre and silly. They also share some particular selections with the audience in the areas of performance in which they specialise. Bond's rendition of "I'm Always Chasing Rainbows/Rainbow Sleeves" is beautifully touching, and Costanzo's solos of "Deh! placatevi con me" from Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice and Liszt's "Über allen Gipfeln ist Ruh" showcase a voice that can only be described as ethereal. We also loved Costanzo's comic presentation of "Crudel! perchè finora" from Mozart's Le Nozze di Figaro. What sets this show apart from a lot of cabaret is that it also seeks to make a point about the importance of inclusivity in the world outside the moment being established here. The medley about 'normality' ("If You Were the Only Girl in the World," "Habanera," "I Am I Said") is a powerful plea for the acceptance of diversity. Indeed, for a thoughtful and thoroughly enjoyable evening that invites one to celebrate both difference and connection, look no further than Only an Octave Apart.

Rated: ★★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

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