Five Guys Named Moe, Theatre Royal Stratford East
Five Guys Named Moe was the expected toe-tapping, jazz feast I wanted. I had last seen the show in the West End Lyric Theatre in the early Nineties and remember joining the actors on stage and dancing with Paul J Medford and shaking my thang.
The production returned to Theatre Royal Stratford East where it began in the Nineties. Medford also returned and choreographed this revival but the tap dancing scene in the show was not nearly as impressive as Medford's original performance but it was clear that the performers were better singers than dancers. Medford worked along side the talented Paulette Randall who directed the production. It's obvious to all how well Randall knows and understands the play and its characters, and the scenes flowed into one another giving the audience a non-stop ride through rhythm and blues.
The new cast stars Clarke Peters, Ashley Campbell, Christopher Colquhoun, Carlton Connell, Paul Hazell and Horace Oliver. The five Moe's perform beautifully together and their harmonies are a pleasure to listen to. Little Moe played by Ashley Campbell, performed my favourite songs I Like 'em Fat Like That and Choo Choo Ch'boogie. His vocal and dance performances were filled with energy and he seemed to smolder sexily whenever we wasn't actually performing! Paul Hazell's camp performance as Eat Moe was hilarious and Carlton Connell vocals as Four Eyed Moe shone through for me especially in Ain't Nobody Here but us Chickens.
The storyline is non existent so don't expect intellectual simulation or thought provoking content. It's just a big song and dance. Some of the songs content are old fashioned and if you take the show too seriously it could potentially be offensive. However the live band were enjoyable and in a league of their own and should take their repertoire into the Stratford East bar where there is more room for a girl to dance and jive.
The best place to seat, enjoy and participate in this musical revue is in the stalls.
Five Guys Named Moe is at Theatre Royal Stratford East until October 3, 2010
Afridiziak Theatre News interviews Paulette Randall