THEATRE REVIEW: Justin Bond is Close to you

'Justin Bond is Close to you' is a fabulous show to kick off the Mardi Gras festivities.
THEATRE REVIEW: Justin Bond is Close to you
Justin Bond is Close to you is a fabulous show to kick off the Mardi Gras festivities. Singing classic Carpenters songs such as We’ve only just begun and I'll Never Fall in Love Again Bond does true justice to The Carpenters legacy while having a bit of cheeky fun between tracks. Time Out recently named Bond as one of New York’s icons. An Obie and Bessie award winner, he travelled the world performing as half of the Kiki and Herb duo as well as performing on Broadway and headlining at Carnegie Hall. His experience as a performer has made this show another success. Unlike many of Bond’s other performances, Justin Bond is close to you is not performed in drag. The Tony-nominated performer pays a warm tribute to The Carpenters in his performance which is a much simpler production than some of his other work. Bringing his own voice to these classic works, Bond gives a new perspective with huskier, deeper tones With just the right amount of candid humour the show, which ran for only 65 minutes,was filled to the brim. Like a true showman, Bond worked the room and even had the chance to dance with an audience member. Bond had the crowd laughing in hysterics as he dropped names from his celebrity encounters in New York recounting some of the oddities of actors and singers he has met over the years. The intimate studio setting of the Sydney Opera House’s Studio was just the right size for the occasional serenade to an audience member and ensured a close up view of those, ‘granny smith platforms’ which were gifted to him by Vivienne Westwood. His witty monologues interspersed throughout the performance were hilarious ranging from comments on the Bush Administration to the life of an artist in New York. The pianist that played alongside Bond was Emmy-Award winning Lance Horne who also showed his singing talent when Bond went backstage to change outfits. The rest of the band where an incredibly talented group of musicians too, with most of them playing several instruments as well as back up singing throughout the performance. At the end of the performance as expected, Bond had a costume change into a glamorous, long sparkly jacket for his last number. True to form, Bond joked with the audience that these were his pyjama's and that his earlier outfit was just too uncomfortable. Part of his charisma comes from the fact that he doesn't take himself too seriously and his light hearted attitude makes him a delight to watch. Bond was extremely entertaining and very funny. It was no shock when he received a standing ovation. A great show for those who enjoy The Carpenters classic music and are not easily made bashful. What a great opening to the Mardi Gras Festival. Tickets: standard $45/$35 (rear view), concession $35 Venue: The Studio, Sydney Opera House Start Date: 26th February End Date: 6th of March Duration:65 minutes, no interval

Katie Preston Toepfer

Friday 27 February, 2009

About the author

Katie Preston Toepfer is a writer, photographer,short film maker and installation artist and is currently working in PR/marketing while studying her Masters in journalism. She has studied Fine Arts at the College of Fine Arts,NSW University obtaining a bachelor of fine arts majoring in time-based art. Katie has also studied photography at the National Art School. She has exhibited and sold photographic work at Burl Gallery and has had works in many exhibitions at both COFA, Kudos and Pine Street Galleries. Katie enjoys making short films and has had screenings at various galleries in Sydney including having one film screened at the Newtown Flicks Festival in 2006. She also loves performance work and has performed at La Franchis. Currently Katie is an event photographer for a social media website and in her current place of work writes informational blogs for visitors and has recently scripted and directed three short video works for a current promotion. She has started her own blog and continues to exhibit her artwork and write pieces of fiction as well as poetry.