REVIEW: Off Off Off Broadway Karaoke – Melbourne Fringe

Come on, admit it. You sing Broadway showtunes in the shower. Or in the car. Or when you’re cleaning the house. You aren’t worried about what the neighbours or the people in the next car think. You are Simba and Javert and Frank’n’Furter and Sandra Dee.

Sometimes you even get drunk and play SingStar or get super drunk and go to karaoke bars. But you have your turn and then you have to listen to all your friends have a go.

Jess McGuire and Emma Smith have curated two weeks of karaoke craziness at the Melbourne Fringe hub starring… the audience. This gives everyone their chance to let their inner diva out, while helping to recreate such Broadway classics as Les Miserables or Jesus Christ Superstar.

Last night, it was The Lion King’s turn. Everyone had a chance to sign up to get involved before the show and there’s opportunities to join in as the show progresses. If you’re shy, you can stay seated and sing your heart out, too. I did the latter.

Jess and Emma keep things moving, with a pre-prepared script and some witty improvisations, all dependant on the kind of audience involvement they get. It’s a truncated version of the show, but we got to enjoy Hakuna Matata and Can You Feel the Love Tonight and a rendition of the Game of Thrones theme song in meows after Simba ascends The Lion Throne.

This was the kind of enjoyable chaos you would expect from a mash-up of karaoke, improvisation and audience participation.