This Melbourne Fringe hit is a clever comedy gem
Australian-Italian wannabe celebrity Andre DiVenuto pays homage to the likes of (a very subpar and far less self-assured) Rove McManus and David Letterman in a night of flat jokes, fruitless romantic gestures, perfectly on-point Australian cultural references and persistence of the stalker variety. Andre Tonight, directed by Helpmann Award-winning actor Mark Leonard Winter and starring a wonderfully balding and desperate Chris Ryan, is as charming as it is poignant.
For Andre, the line between reality and fantasy is blurred. Almost deliriously convinced of his chance at stardom, Andre doesn’t let a few minor setbacks (his back-up band, Bryan Jovi, a Bryan Adams/Bon Jovi cover band is a no-show) ruin his shot at his ultimate dream: hosting his own show on Foxtel. Graceless, naff and incompetent, Andre’s show is an adorable fiasco.
Ryan’s multilayered script combines satire, delightfully bad stand-up and even a touch of tragedy. By the end, it’s hard not to fall for the loveable jester and his surprise sidekick (whose identity we won’t reveal). Ryan and Winter have successfully pulled-off the most unsuccessful of talk shows.
By Katie Wilkins