Comedian Dave Callan provides the pithiest description of his show upfront: “The plot is – I dance like a monkey for an hour.”
That’s basically it, but A Little Less Conversation offers a little bit more than it appears.
This is the third in Perth-based Callan’s dancing series and the original joke still has legs, so to speak.
His premise is that it is inherently funny to watch a lanky, bearded, modestly co-ordinated, heading-towards-middle age, Viking-like bloke attempting to replicate dance moves from the world of pop.
And he’s correct. I will attempt not to give away any surprises, but in each version of the show he adds some up-t0-the-minute dance numbers. In this case, very up-to-the-minute.
Last year, Miley Cyrus made an appearance; in his first version of the show, he won over audiences with his flailing limbed, fused-pelvis version of Beyonce’s “All the Single Ladies”.
Beyonce does make a return, with Callan dialling up the incongruity in hilarious fashion. You can also expect to see some of the biggest hits of the past year given the purse-lipped, flailing-limbed, Callan treatment.
He’s backed by two very good professional dancers and Callan, at times, seems like he’s actually heading towards being pretty good with the moves after three years of twerking and pirouetting and pelvic thrusting.
But he’s not so good that it removes the pleasure of watching him flail around on the Rhino Room’s minuscule stage in a range of ridiculous el-cheapo costumes.
He weaves in some traditional observational stand-up, misheard lyrics and very funny parody film clips (including “Bearded Lines”).
While the show is clearly very silly, Callan also manages to show up some of the more dodgy film clips and lyrics, simply by the act of replicating them without the distractions of make-up, costumes or pro dancing skills.
But Callan is a good-hearted, non-cynical comedian – while there’s a modicum of social commentary going on, there’s also a lot of love here for pop culture in all its vacuous, ridiculous glory.
Dave Callan is performing A Little Less Conversation 3: Even More Less Conversation in the Rhino Room until February 28. He will also perform A Little Less Conversation Remix at The Peacock, Gluttony, from March 3-8.
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