One of London’s most successful musical directors Callum McLeod orchestrates yet another Michael Ball winner with Together. An aptly titled musical collaboration between Michael Ball and Alfie Boe emulating in true bromance style the camaraderie and unlikely combination of two men whose reputations precede them, whilst their harmonies and humour unite them.
There is an unmistakable awe in the air as these highly awarded and platinum winning seasoned voices of musical theatre and pop-opera enter with a Rockstar entrance in casual suit attire, skinny jeans and sneakers blasting out (in perfect pitch), West Side Story’s ‘Somewhere’ and ‘Tonight’ wowing the audience without a breather after which Ball and Boe slowly let them mellow through the soulful ‘Once in My Life’ and the Godfather classic ‘Speak Softly, Love’. All the whilst supported by a phenomenal 18 strong gender balanced band dressed in black with the women on vocals, violins and cello and the men on drums, keyboards, grand piano, guitars, brass and double bass. This was all complimented by exceptional visual artistry and lighting by a talented stage design team.
The stage design altered with each song with the use of visual projections to create the mood and Broadway bulb lights that could flicker with softness or glare with intensity or project brightly onto the audience or wash the stage with colour to almost swallow the band and make our two pop stars shine.
The two consummate performers broke the musical tension with heartful comedic introductions and a relaxed demeanour that felt like the audience was invited to share in the togetherness of their personal world as they share their favourite playlist of Broadway, film and pop songs.
The mastery of their tenor repertoire was highlighted through the pop songs of the Twilight hit ‘A Thousand Years’ and the Blood Brothers ‘Tell me It’s Not True’. Ball and Boe relaxed the crowd into the jazz vibe with Callum McLeod and another musician both on guitars within an intimate range of Michael and Alfie on stools, singing their rendition of ‘Over the Rainbow’.
Perhaps in reality they were just taking their own breather before drawing the crowd into a literal frenzy as their enthusiasm, passion, and lively stage antics had everyone up from their seats dancing and singing along to Johnny Farnham’s ‘You’re the Voice’. The roaring standing ovation was only to be outdone by Ball and Boe’s solos. Ball shook the concert hall to an emotional core with Jesus Christ Superstar hit ‘Gethesmane’, Ball gave a complex delivery of emotions of passion, fear and love through masterful singing of different rhythms and rock styles. The roaring standing ovation at its completion left Ball humbled and the audience even more appreciative.
Boe’s solo equally matched the emotional draw of Ball’s with a fine tribute to Tom Petty.
Whilst the solos showcased their exceptional talent, the duets brought a warmth to their voices as their tones and inflections danced between the harmonies and melodies of the score. It was an evening of stimulating enrichment for the soul as it led the audience on an unexpected journey of a suite of Elvis Presley songs, a James Bond soundtrack medley and with welcome notables from The Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and My Fair Lady.
Ball’s suave and debonair manner commanded the stage with his mastery of Broadway hits whilst Alfie bopped around with vibrant effervescent youthfulness and a tenor voice of sheer excellence. Together they made pure harmony and even when the other had a solo the other’s presence could still be felt. And in the final duet both performers and audience were ‘together’.
Michael Ball & Alfie Boe’s Together will tour to Sydney on October 11, and Perth on October 16. For more details see the Ticketmaster website.