Nailed It!

Nailed It! is introduced by singer Andrew Strano and keyboardist Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer as being "about life, about love, about relationships", and they succeed fantastically in turning these well-worn subjects into a refreshingly unique show. Their songs weave threads of familiar feelings through unexpected topics, twanging at old hurts and remembered heartbreaks. Even when seeming silly, and cheerfully addressing matters as varied (and occasionally bizarre) as RyanAir, plant genitalia, and Hogwarts, the depth of emotion is easy to connect to. Quite in line with what Mackenzie-Spencer says in regard to one of their songs, this is very much a show where the audience can think 'me, too.'

Nailed It! is a sweet and playful show that will both make you laugh and make you remember old hurts of complicated relationships.

Strano begins the performance with impeccable comedic timing, both within the songs and as he speaks through the segues between them. He improvises charmingly to audience interjection in these spoken bits as well. However, as the show goes on, these spoken segues get a little rushed and muddled, tripping over one sentence from time to time without finishing the begun point. Luckily, any confusion contributed by this is ameliorated by his force of personality as a performer. His personability and charisma is near flawless, and the easy and casual banter between himself and Mackenzie-Spencer makes the show feel intimate and approachable, like a gathering of friends rather than performers and audience.

Musically the melodies are sweet in their simplicity, contributing a relentlessly catchy tempo to their clever lyrics. It is easy to find yourself singing refrains even hours after the show when you thought they had left your head, which is somewhat problematic in public when the song is Crack Babies, but goes to show the unforgettable nature of the lyrics. The first songs of the set are the more comedic ones. They manage to somehow make plant genitalia seem romantic and to make everyone laugh despite themselves at increasingly risque lines on twincest. As the songs progress, they touch on the heavier and sadder aspects of living and loving, but never end without a promise of hope.

Nailed It! is a sweet and playful show that will both make you laugh and make you remember old hurts of complicated relationships. No matter where you are in life, whether a 20-something who can empathize with the disappointing realization that you were never going to go to Hogwarts, or someone with many decades of experience with heartbreak, the songs of Nailed It! touch on a personal level. Unfortunately this show has finished their run for the Edinburgh Fringe this year, but if you got to see it you know how lucky you were, and hopefully we'll see Mackenzie-Spencer & Strano at the Fringe sometime again.

Reviews by Ali Schultz

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The Blurb

'The perfect viewing experience' ***** ( Heartfelt, meaningful examination of life, love, Hogwarts, incest and plant genitalia, Nailed It! is about when you are (or really aren't) … nailing it. Featuring the Green Room Award-winning original songs of Loclan Mackenzie-Spencer (Associate Musical Director, Wicked) and Andrew Strano (nominated: Best Male Cabaret Performer, and a very sparkly jacket. Directed by Casey Gould. 'A stripped back and beautiful account of grief, love, insecurity, selfishness and hope' ( 'Two great comic and musical minds' ( 'Theatrical and musical ingenuity' ( 'Every song finds a surprising (and usually hilarious) perspective' (