The Commitments ★★★ New Wimbledon Theatre | January 11 - 14, 2023

If you remember the movie you may be somewhat disappointed, but if you're just looking for a terrific concert experience, you'll be just fine. This show is all about the music and the narrative takes a secondary place. The story of a group of musical misfits who come together in 1980's Dublin to create a soul band is lost to the almost non-stop renditions of great soul hits like "Proud Mary," "I Heard It Through The Grapevine," and "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours." The cast's compelling delivery of these old favourites completely overwhelms the chronicle of Jimmy (James Killeen) who is putting together a musical group that will speak to a new generation's commitment to sexual liberation and working class aspiration. This show is all about lead singer, Deco (Ian McIntosh) and the music. From shrieking girls when he takes his shirt off to the obligatory rock star swagger, McIntosh delivers a performance that is comprised of great vocals and lots of pop idol attitude. Nigel Pivaro did a fine comic turn as Da and Stuart Reid was a suitably hip Joey the Lips, but it was all lost in the pounding rhythms and infectious tunes of Motown and Memphis soul. For us, it was emblematic that when the show concluded with the love scene between Jimmy and Imelda (Ciara Mackey) the audience failed to react. Their moment of confusion was simply because that story was not what this show was all about. It was only when the cast came back and did a few more great numbers, that people left the concert satisfied.

Rated: ★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Ellie Kurttz.

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