What a buzz of anticipation! A balmy evening, a new “orchard” setting (well grass and planter boxes of herbs and veges), lots of outdoor seating, a bar and tapas made to order while you wait for the show. The “Pearl”, Spiegeltent glowing with multi-coloured panes of stained glass and decorated with gorgeous graphics. Inside inviting red velvet lined booths lined the walls as well as rows of black wooden seats. Thumping Amy Winehouse set the mood and the crowd were ready to party.
Zack Adams entered in an unassuming manner. He cut a slight figure, be-spectacled and sporting a small black trilby. He opened the show with a deadpan monologue on the woes of a hard tour, beset with troubles at every turn, but culminating in the long anticipated return to the arms of his beloved girlfriend. Rejection, desolation and despair. This lead into his first song Dylan’s The Times They Are A Changin’. Adams has a good singing voice and displays excellent guitar skills. The acoustics and sound mixing were excellent.
This segued into a list of girls past with whom he had never really succeeded. A great comedic theme, but one which he never quite exploited to its full potential, veering off the track a couple of times to no great effect.
Primary school Lara (they were all called Lara to protect their identity) gave us a version of Achey, Breakey Heart. High school Lara introduced us to the “wing man” friend who ultimately seduced the object of Zack’s affections.
The rather quiet audience seemed to warm palpably to the amusing Apology Song, one of Adam’s own compositions. Moving on to nerdy teenage years gave us Young, Dumb and Greasy an homage to misunderstood teenage angst. Adams’ songs are repetitive but catchy.
A clever moment was a pastiche of If You Liked It You Should Have Put A Ring On It with a flicker of recognizable side dance moves. Thence to Uni days and She’s Just That Lovely. A clever piece of writing about a beauty with a commitment phobia dogged by a flock of smitten admirers.
An early performance lead to a venture with an advertising executive who hired Adam to extol the virtues of dried apricots as a school lunch item. A genuinely funny moment was the rap he performed with the incredibly inappropriate risqué invitation to “put it in your mouth, put it in your mouth!”
Adams then moved back to his original theme and gave us the lovely Moving On. His forte is a mix of original and cleverly adapted popular songs.
The highlight of the evening was the delightful I’m Dating a Girl who looks Like You. A wonderful comedic journey transforming the girl into an ever more complete likeness of his former love. The wicked punch-line was delivered when, after masochistic sex, she imprisons him in her dungeon, along with another former boyfriend.
A ramble entitled Kids Say the Darndest Things fell fairly flat and seemed out of place in the scheme of things. The attractive This Town rounded off the earlier touring theme of finding your way back home.
Australian stand-up has really come of age, it is a highly competitive scene and audiences are spoilt for choice. Zack Adams undoubtedly has talent, but for my taste the humour was a little too gentle in pace and content.
Fringe World presents
LOVE SONGS FOR FUTURE GIRL
Venue: Fringe World | The Spiegeltent, Urban Orchard, Perth Cultural Centre
Dates/Times: Fri 18 - Sun 20 Feb @ 7:00pm
Bookings: www.fringeworld.com.au or Planet Video