Let’s get the review part over and done with; this was going to be a five star review from the moment I saw the title Joe Black - Touch of Evil: A Celebration of Villainy in Song. Now I can concentrate on my rather public love letter to Joe Black.
How can anyone look that gorgeous in lime green hue?
You caught my eye last year’s Brighton Fringe at the Bond-themed A Night In… Double-Oh Heaven as the lethal, yet completely barmy Blofeld. I have seen plenty of cabaret since, but no one has quite captivated me the way you did. Now we meet again – for you have fulfilled, not just one, but two of my biggest wishes. Firstly, I get to feast my eyes on you alone, no mediocre starlets ushering you off the stage, no distractions, for tonight, Mr. Black, you are all mine. Secondly, you are the embodiment of Disney villains.
The perfect opening number for the evening was the evil voodoo doctor’s anthem Friends on the Other Side from Princess and the Frog. It just left me asking: how can anyone look that gorgeous in lime green? Like the lovechild between Jim Carrey’s The Mask and the Joker, you were despicably villainous. From the first note, I was mesmerised by your evil presence, like a deer in the headlights, just waiting for the crash.
Some of the characters all lovingly portrayed were Cruella De Vil (the resemblance is uncanny), Gaston from Beauty and the Beast, Scar from The Lion King, Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Prince Ali from Aladdin, all the way to a hysterical Christopher Walken impersonation of I Wanna Be Like You from The Jungle Book. Tonight there were just two props on the stage: the magic mirror oozing lime green smoke and a concert piano manned by the wonderfully dazed and confused pianist Friedrich Hollandaise.
I feel like we are BFF’s already – we even like the same films. Two of my all-time favourites are The Phantom Of The Opera and Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas. Oogie Boogie's Song was perfect, but let’s face it, there is only one person in this world who could make a total mess of The Phantom Of The Opera’s The Music Of The Night and come away with a five star review. That takes some exceptional talent, but please learn the lyrics.
All my life, I have felt that there is something missing from Disney films. Now I know that it was you, Joe Black. You are the ultimate evil cartoon character; your face, voice, gestures, whole body are pure misdemeanor. To bathe in your wickedness for one and a half hours for under a tenner is a steal. Take it!