The IsoLate Late Show – Episode 2 (The Little Red Company)
Fresh from last week’s first IsoLate Late Show, the little red company were back on Friday night with episode two, albeit in a more striped-back format, thanks to updated social distancing and gathering requirements, because as experience continues to show, a lot can change in a week. Staying in may be the new black, but particularly for those who live alone, it can be an unusually lonely occurrence, especially if it is in contrast to typical time out theatring, which makes the experience of this new concept cabaret show all the more rewarding.
It’s like an unplugged version of a performance proper, coming to us from another lounge room, but while the number of performers may be lessened, the entertainment is still as present as ever as Naomi Price and Luke Kennedy are joined by superstar guitarist Jason McGregor to share some creatives vs corona love. While the 90-minute show includes cabaret classics, there is also a covid19 twist to some of its numbers, including ‘Penny Lane’ appearing as dedication to the essential workers of our new-normal society. And reappropriated Katie Perry lyrics see Price bopping us through ‘Quarantine Dream’.
While last week’s performers drop in via video, including members of Queensland Chamber Orchestra, Camerata, in accompaniment to Luke Kennedy’s epic ‘Into the Unknown’, this week’s show is really about Price and Kennedy. The pair is in fine vocal form, showcased particularly in gleeful (#seewhatIdidthere) duet + dog share of Journey’s cheesy but convincing ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. They lift the classic rock number’s sing-along melody to become a spiritual anthem for people not to give up, which is obviously an important message during this current crazy time of coronavirus.
Another highlight comes courtesy of the peak harmony of Kennedy’s crisp vocals in The Doobie Brothers’ ‘Give Me the Beat Boys’, which easily carries at-home audience members away in drift-away sing-a-long. And Price’s ‘Valerie’, done properly, the only way to do it, Amy Winehouse style, is enlivened with jazzy riffs and electrifying high-tempo guitar rock-out courtesy of McGreggor. Light and shade comes from McGreggor’s emotion-filled accompaniment to ‘Songbird’, to take us back to Price’s recent, but now a lifetime ago encore run of “Christmas Actually”. Throwback to Price’s other 2019 encore show at La Boite Theatre, “Lady Beatle”, comes courtesy of a final, vibrant Beatles mix, cresendoing into ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ to let the evening go.
As its finale surmises, “The IsoLate Late Show” is guaranteed to raise the smile because, let’s face it, isolating is more fun with friends. Not only this, but it serves as an important ongoing reminder, also, about how arts matter and how members of this crippled industry need our support. With that in mind, you can continue to enjoy the full show, knowing that donations are still welcome at www.theisolatelateshow.com.