REVIEW: The Best Roles I’ll [probably] Never Play (Auckland Pride)

Review by Lachlan Forlong

[Someone Please Cast Them Immediately]

The Best Roles I’ll (Probably) Never Play features songs chosen by the actors. We get a small rundown of why each song is selected, detailing why the performer will never get to play the role. Age, gender, and general type castings are the main reasons, with the pieces selected having some personal importance to the performer. This context builds a beautiful ‘play against’ style; we hear totally new and wonderful renditions of obscure and well-known musicals alike.

Brady Peeti’s “The Life I Never Led” from Sister Act will hit you like a truck and have you on your feet cheering, rejoicing, and celebrating the incredible story being told. The song becomes an anthem for members of the Pride community as we hear it with new ears for the first time. It was within the first fifteen minutes and it nearly brought the house down.

The pieces performed, from Jesus Christ Superstar to Spring Awakening, had me in tingles. The actors Brady Peeti, Charlotte West, Cherie Moore, Heather Wilcock, Paul Fagamalo and Rebekah Head each sing and entertain with conviction, emotion, and an abundance of talent.  It cannot be understated just how fun it was to be a part of the audience and to hear the stories of the performers. 

The live band that accompanies the songs performed is masterfully directed by Mark Bradley. The music swings, dips, rises, and swells with incredible skill, and it’s clear that the band of three musicians is having just as much fun as the actors and the audience. Each moment of the show is different from the last – hearing “What It Means to Be a Friend” from Thirteen followed by “My Unfortunate Erection” from 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee – has no right to work as well as it does, especially when Charlotte West is playing a prepubescent boy struggling with teenage problems in a spelling contest. But it does. And it works hilariously well.

The Best Roles I’ll (Probably) Never Play effortlessly sweeps those watching it along with a variety of tone and no small amount of skill in the vocals from every cast member. It is a great way to spend an evening for anyone that enjoys musicals. The audience is utterly spoilt with talent and there truly is something in every song for every person watching. With an abundance of wit, emotion, and skill packed into 80 minutes, it entertains until the final note. 

The Best Roles I’ll (Probably) Never Play plays Q Loft 11-13th February, 2021 as part of Auckland Pride and Summer at Q. 

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