Bon Voyage – The Show
September 10 2014
Reviewed by Lisa Gallagher
In Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days Mr Phileas Fogg’s balloon trip created a magical adventure for us all. In 2014, producer extraordinaire Mr Michael Boyd will relive that journey in song, performance and magic, assisted by thousands of sequins, feathers, high kicks, top hats, tails, animals and fire! Introducing Bon Voyage – The Show, opening at Jupiters Theatre on the Gold Coast from September 10 for a limited season.
With the magic of the world’s greatest destinations as the setting, Boyd’s Bon Voyage celebrates the mystique and elegance of old world adventure – from Broadway to Bangkok, from Africa through India and the colour of Bollywood to the romance of Parisian cabaret, with the final destination being the wonder that is Australia.
A world premiere season, Bon Voyage stars 13 world-class performers and an equine superstar direct from Canada’s blockbuster touring show Cavalia, on stage at Jupiters Theatre in a kaleidoscopic Las Vegas style revue that will take audiences around the world in 80 minutes!
The idea of the show holds a promise of adventure, and the ambience on arrival does not disappoint. The ushers are well dressed, their hostess uniforms look great. On Opening Night, Michael himself introduced the show, informing the audience that this is his 3rd show at Jupiters. He then recognised that the creative cast and performers were all Queenslanders, which was great to hear. The Gold Coast as a whole does not generally support culture at a grass roots level (especially our local council!), so it is wonderful that Michael and Jupiters are supporting local performers and the arts community.
The show starts with a fantastic character – Miss Aviation, played by Drag Queen Miss Synthetic, in the role of flight attendant. In her opening monologue there is a lot of sexual innuendo, and this continues in her segments throughout the show. It is extremely funny, but the 80ish year old man beside me looked markedly uncomfortable during these times. I would normally not hesitate to recommend a Jupiters show to families with children, and whilst the rest of the production is fine for kids, Miss Aviation’s segments are definitely aimed towards adults. Nicole Sokolovic and Dean Giltinan head a wonderful ensemble; the performers are all very talented and able to captivate the audience.
First stop is New York and the standard is set! The performance starts with a fantastic shadow acting piece. This is followed by great, polished performances that are very enjoyable. The song choices are excellent and the performers are on cue with their singing and dancing.
This momentum is not achieved throughout the whole show. The show seems to be more of a tribute to the stopover cities, rather than a true symbolic cultural representation. With that said, the show is fast paced, and the time spent in each country was just right, with set changeovers seamless and quick. A variety of songs, routines and outstanding costumes make for an exciting show. As expected with Michael Boyd, there were well placed interludes of visually appealing illusions to entertain the audience.
The show finishes up back in Australia. Being a proud Queenslander, I was expecting to see some Gold Coast themed action and a tribute to our beautiful beaches. Instead, the producers have focused on our bush heritage.
There were some good old songs, to which the Aussies in the opening night audience had a sing along, and for the last few songs, an Australian Outback Spectacular style finale, a (Cavalia) horse is brought on stage. Mikayla Barber obviously knows what she is doing with her horse, Maverick, but I do not see a need for a horse to be included in the show and feel it is only included for the wow factor. Whilst Maverick did settle down, the horse looked out of place and uncomfortable on the small Jupiters stage.
But from the hot jazz of New York, to the tribal beat and colourful costumes of Africa, to the sheer fun and sparkling sequins of Paris, Bon Voyage is a very entertaining night out!