Reviewed by David Smith
Tonight With Tony is a comic piece devised by Marcel Blanch – de Wilt and Pires Eddy which takes the Burnside Players in a new direction.
The format, as the name suggests, is based on Tonight-style TV shows, with Eddy as host. The programme mentions Letterman and O’Brien, but Eddy brings more than a little of a vulnerable, endearing and gawky Gunston to the role.
There is a competent, young and energetic cast of ‘regular guests’ and a well-modulated studio band of keyboard, drums and three guitars. In addition, on any night, Tony interviews and features several other Adelaide Fringe acts. On this occasion we were treated to comedians Peter Beaglehole, Abigoliah Schamaun and The Hermitude of Angus, Ecstatic, along with two members of Lady Sings it Better.
Set in a gold velvet draped set in the Queen’s Arms Hotel, and with ‘big’ screen visuals, the show began with Eddy in stand-up mode and developed along a generally predictable path, with the notable exceptions of some funny, often risqué review sketches, occasionally including cooperative audience members. ‘Cock or Not’ was such a one. Also, there was an underlying narrative concerning various of the ‘regular’ characters and their fluctuating personal interactions.
They maintained a firm ensemble through the performance. Notable in the group, apart from Eddy, were the athletic Buddy Dawson as Rodney and several other characters, Katie Greenhalf as the raunchy Bianca Pringle and Megan Morgan as Tony’s heart-throb Penny.
In all Tonight with Tony successfully fused comic review with Fringe showcase and, on several occasions, brought loud and spontaneous gusts of laughter from the audience.