Banquet Room, Thu 16 Jun.
Ever wondered what it takes to be an opera singer? Or a comedian for that matter? It’s clearly harder than it looks as David Hobson and Colin Lane try their hand at both to the great amusement of a predominantly ‘mature’ audience. The promo is a little deceiving, however – the long-time friends hardly ‘swap’ roles for the night – that would result in a train wreck, obviously. What they do do – with a little help from onstage pianist David Cameron – is give each other enough rope to ‘play’ with the other’s profession before reverting back to doing what each does best.
Hobson is delightfully earnest in his attempts to get Lane to take opera seriously, but he faces a losing battle because, well, Lane is a comedian after all. The banter between the two is a mix of rehearsed lines and ad libs that often worked well, but fell a little flat at other times. In terms of comedy there were lots of wordplays and cheesy jokes that resonated with the audience on the night. There were shades of Danny Kaye in Lane’s opening attempt at opera, and when joined onstage by Hobson, there was whisper of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello – something that could have been further capitalised with a tighter script.
When Hobson finally managed to wrestle the limelight from his partner, the audience were treated to the extraordinary talent that has made him one of Australia’s most loved tenors, performing La donna è mobile from Verdi’s Rigoletto and reminding the audience why they bought tickets in the first place. Not that Lane took a back seat at any moment, of course, his eagerness to jump right in and sing Bizet’s Pearl Fisher’s Duet – Hobson and Teddy Tahu Rhode’s version being one of the most played tracks in Australian music history – a major source of hilarity throughout the evening, even managing a cheeky poke at Rhodes that had the audience in stitches.
Other highlights included hearing Hobson sing Little Miss Muffet (that’s a nursery rhyme that will never sound the same again!), Lane’s efforts at ‘translating” Hobson’s operatic lyrics and the boys ending the night with a boozy toast to Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra with Well, Did You Evah? The cheesy dance routine was perfect, proving once and for all that Lane can sing, and Hobson can do comedy – it’s just that they’re both much better at the other.
Rosie van Heerde
David Hobson and Colin Lane perform In Tails at Banquet Room, Adelaide Festival Centre, from 7pm until Sat 18 Jun.
Book at BASS on 131 246 and bass.net.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.
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