The Songs of Mackenzie-Spencer and Strano in Concert
Review by Hayley Simpson
Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer. Andrew Strano. The two talented musical men behind The Songs of Mackenzie-Spencer and Strano. As a newbie to the Melbourne musical scene, I soon realised this duo are quite famous in the local theatre circuit. After this performance, I now understand why and may even begin to call myself one of their groupies.
The Songs of Mackenzie-Spencer and Strano is a compilation of songs the duo have written and produced over the past year. Strano introduces the show, which instantly makes the performance feel more personal. Mackenzie-Spencer directs the four-piece band as he plays the piano exquisitely for each song. In front of the band are six music stands, six music books and six microphones. From here the audience is treated to the six cast members’ voices singing together, individually or as a duet.
The cast includes more Melbourne musical royalty, including Fem Belling, Andrew Broadbent, Stefanie Jones and Rob Tripolino. The set list is an excellent combination of songs that tear at the heartstrings, make you smile and induce a laughing fit. There are songs about love, loss, Tiger Air, plant genitalia, Harry Potter and incest.
I particularly enjoy the number entitled, “Crack Babies.” The entire audience was singing along to the chorus by the end. The song about the inefficiency of Tiger Air seems to cause flashbacks for some audience members too. But perhaps the song about a man being in love with his twin sister because they have “so much in common” is the funniest of them all.
The variation in the songs and the stories they tell perfectly highlights the talents of Mackenzie-Spencer and Strano. First stop: in a Chapel off Chapel. Next stop: on a street named Broadway.