Charlie Baker - Baker's Dozen, Assembly Three
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Mitch Benn Is The 37th Beatle, Stand Three
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Katie Goodman - I Didn't F*** It Up, Gilded Balloon Wine Bar
IT may not have been his intention, but Charlie Baker has the distinction of making a man dressed as a giant penis genuinely funny. It's all context you see...
In Baker's Dozen, the comedian/singer/musician performs the biggest-selling UK singles from the past 13 years. No longer Jack Black's British doppelganger (amazing what a haircut and a sleeker silhouette can do) Baker has devised and delivered a beautifully paced hour with Kirsty Newton on piano and stooge Tom on amusing props (including the giant penis costume).
The setlist can easily be researched, but with the biggest-selling song of 2000 being Bob The Builder, the comedy value is already there, the difference being that with Baker's impressive jazz chops, it sounds pretty good.
The balance between music and stand-up has been pretty finely tuned, giving the show a lovely, fuzzy old-fashioned variety feel in some respects, but covering subjects that would never have made the cut on Seaside Special.
There was a distinctly younger audience, perhaps a nod to where Baker guested on TV so far, and to some extent the subject matter, but there's little doubt that his triple threat of comedy, music and acting will bring Baker further into the mainstream with the right vehicle.
Mitch Benn is an extremely clever man. At times, too self-consciously clever, but maybe that's the context of the rather pleased-with-itself Now Show, where he provides the satirical musical contributions.
Mitch Benn is the 37th Beatle is a rather different animal. It's an ideal vehicle for the songwriter, with a solid subject matter to build the show around. So many people have been dubbed The Fifth Beatle, they can't all be - he sets out through anecdote, research and parodies to prove he is the 37th Beatle.
Maybe it's the love he has for the subject, but this show sees Benn in more likeable mode, providing amusing links to his claims to Beatledom.
The songs are parody perfect as always, so close they can never be recorded, unless he wants to wrestle with the publishers.
The building of Tomorrow Never Knows through vocal loops is impressive, if indulgent, but Benn knows his audience is musically literate and brings back the comedy to finish the show.
His other passion is Doctor Who and he manages to link the 12th Doctor to The Beatles too - so plenty here for Beatles fans and true trivia anoraks.
Katie Goodman makes her entrance with all guns blazing, then finds some more guns.
Expecting an audience singalong to the first song is ambitious, even if I Didn't F*** It Up has had half a million views on YouTube.
The songs cover everything from the American Tea Party to homophobes to midlife crises - all well-written and performed. The hour just felt a little like liberal bingo (I'm just waiting for "climate change" for a full house - ah there it is).
Goodman is an accomplished performer, but she needs better (or slightly more subtle) material to make the most of it.
All until August 25