by Zahid Fayyaz
This show comes straight from New York to one of the world’s oldest surviving music halls in East London. It is a very classy and entertaining tour de force. The concept is a simple one – that a cabaret artist and an opera performer, Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo, join forces to sing songs from their respective fields. The message is despite being from different disciplines they have a lot of similarities, except for being one octave apart.
The performers are both extremely personable and charismatic, whether in their solo songs or duets. They navigate the in-between banter effortlessly, and the costume and style changes are undertaken with panache. Its hard to pick any particular tune as standing out, but particular favourites for me would be ‘Under Pressure’, the medley of ‘Dido of Carthage’ and Dido’s ‘White Flag’, and ‘Waters of March’. With Wilton’s acoustics, the songs really stand out and the audience is clearly moved during some of the more beautiful vocal performances. The warmth the performers have for each other and their friendship helps to elevate the evening as well, adding to the entertainment value of the show.
The show is highly recommended for an entertaining and thoughtful night out. The soundtrack is also available at whatever streaming/CD purchasing/download site you use, and is well worth a listen to as well.
Only an Octave Apart runs through 22 October.
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