BAYSIDE THE MUSICAL – THE OTHER PALACE REVIEW
When I wake up in the morning, And the alarm gives out a warning, I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time, By the time I grab my books, And I give myself a look, I’m at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by, It’s alright ’cause I’m saved by the bell !
If you know and can sing the rest of that title song then your reading the right article!
Saved by the Bell was an American Sitcom that ran between 1989-1993. Which means if you know what this show was you are probably late 20’s and above, which followed a group of students touching on comedic situations in their school life. The original characters have since gone onto other acting and musical roles namely Tiffani Tiessen, Mario Lopez and Mark -Paul Gosselaar a few of the better-known names currently on tv.
After a run 9 times extended off Broadway, Michael Neri who directs and Choreographs this Parody Version of the show brings it to The Other Palace in Victoria.
The show openly tells you this is an unofficial take and parody on the show. It is for this reason you have to open your mind and just sit back and enjoy the show. It is cheesy, it’s funny, it relies on your nostalgia.
No grand staging, a covered piano in the corner with props and clothing stored on top. The audience sat a foot away from the stage. You are left to imagine the scene. However, that is easy with the direction the cast bring. The start of the second act even starts with William Hazell and Roann McCloskey taking the mickey out of the set. The cast know the limitations in the space they are acting and utilise it brilliantly. They also remind us its not always about the lead characters and to remember ‘The Extras’ for a bit of fun.
If your not sure what the hype is about then this show probably isn’t for you, the story leans to you knowing the characters and if you don’t then you may be left a little lost. Luckily for myself and my friend we were fans and just about everyone else in the venue.
The storyline here was that their local hangout ‘THE MAX’ was to close if the grand amount of five hundred dollars couldn’t be raised to save the venue. Can they save it? You’ll have to go see the show to find out!
The show always revolved around Zac Morris and Kelly Kapowski being the main characters and their on-off relationship, and here played out brilliantly by Ben Campbell and Lizzie Buckingham. Ben displayed the big ego well, knowing he was the leader of the gang, the good looking one, natural prom king. Declaring ‘Who wouldn’t want to kiss Zac? and even asked if I’d like to kiss Zac. My reply – ‘Always’. Lizzie displays all the traits of a high school cheerleader. Not the smartest cookie in the box, but good looking. Prom Queen and the person all the girls want to be. She is endearing and fun to watch and a great singer with her exaggerated american accent.
My favourite, however, was Francesco Roberts take on AC Slater – Pure genius. High school Jock, Wrestler, and all the way through this show hilarious. His homosexual nuances, tendencies and quips had the audience in laughs.
Closely behind was William Hazell who played the Principal Mr B. (Mr Belding) as well as other characters. His brash impression of Tori Spelling who appeared in the show briefly was hilarious, with his blonde wig, bright red lipstick and leather jacket. Coming to the rescue of the gang when faced with coming up with ideas on how to save The Max. Adaya Henry had us laughing awkwardly with her realisation she was black and that 99% of the watching audience was white.
This show is feel-good fun and nostalgia. Pure and Simple. Don’t take it too seriously. It takes you back to the good times in your youth when you watched the show in laughter. It’s a small production with a great cast, a whole lot of heart and imagination.
Credit to Michael Neri for producing this two hours of nostalgia and all of the cast for seeing this vision and delivering it to the audience faultlessly. Also Russell Painter the Musical Supervisor who put together some catchy songs.
Times & Prices
Running until Saturday 17th March, 8pm (3pm Matinee) you only have a few chances to see this left.
2 hours including a 20 minute interval
Studio Ground Floor £25
Studio Gallery £30
Studio Upper Gallery £25
*All prices are subject to availability, may only be available on certain performances and are subject to change without prior notice.