Martin ShortIt’s not often I get to use the phrase “consummate performer” without sounding pretentious, but in the case of Martin Short, there really are no other words to describe the one man band of singing, dancing and comedic brilliance.

I first fell for Short as the lovable wedding planner “Franck” in 90’s comedy Father of the Bride. Alongside his long suffering co-star Steve Martin, Short’s ridiculously thick European accent was indecipherable and a great source of laughs against the straight laced Martin.

Short reprised many of his much loved characters from his stint on American classic Saturday Night Live as well as bringing in some favorites from his more notable films.

Franck was there, as well as Hollywood reporter Jiminy Click from Saturday Night live and Ned Nederlander from The Three Amigos. However it was the fact that Martin Short, the crème de la crème of international comedy was there performing his “one man party with Marty” at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne that was the most joyful to watch.

His cheeky style and impish smile were constant throughout the 90-minute performance, of all singing, all dancing and all joking entertainment. His talent is undeniable, and his energy is nothing short (pardon the pun) of remarkable. Short danced, pranced and bounded across the stage with the grace of a four-year-old ADHD sufferer who had gotten into the coffee jar.

Kudos must be given to Short’s pianist and musical director who put up with taunting and several bruised fingers from Short’s consistent piano jumping antics.

It is Short’s likeability that seems to make the broken digits worth the sacrifice, and it is his obvious professional approach to comedy that makes it so entertaining to watch. His research into the Australian culture and use of topical local politics and media references is the mark of a performer who is willing to go the extra mile for his audience. This type of performer, someone who cares about his audience is unfortunately too few and far between, and I for one feel privileged to have witnessed such and outstanding performance.

Short combines musicality with drama and comedy in a show that could confuse and intimidate the most experienced of performers. Yet he remained in control of the entire show, and it was very clear that he was the one calling the shots. This clear sense of control and direction was (as I would’ve thought) impossible, yet as his mad characters fell apart or became so outlandishly unbelievable, Short reined them back in with the skill of an Australian drover.

Short’s unique stage presence and strong sense of himself as a performer was the icing on the Krispy Kreme donuts Jiminy Click consumed on stage. A brilliant performer with a dazzling personality, Martin Short is clearly not short on talent. As the man himself so beautifully put it, “It is better to have loved a short than to never to have loved a tall”.

An Evening with Martin Short

Venue: Princess Theatre, Melbourne
Date/Time: 8pm, 1 September 2011
Bookings: Ticketmaster 1300 111 011

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