The Shuffle Show – Sydney Fringe Festival

1,000 songs in one hour is a big promise to make to an audience, but The Shuffle Show (A Medley of Medleys) has come up with a clear conceit to deliver on the show description, and it starts at an Apple Store.

It’s a tutorial for the “shuffle” function on your playlist, you see. Duo Elena Gabrielle and Grant Busé are here, in all their blue-shirted, one-of-us, one-of-us glory, to teach us how to construct playlists.

The Shuffle Show
The Shuffle Show

Well, not really. They’re here to crack some vague jokes, make a fun running gag of implausible sexual tension between themselves, and string together some medleys (or, thanks to Glee, mashups) of songs that are based around a vague theme or genre. Like rap, or rock, or butts, or foreplay, where an audience member is called out on stage for Gabrielle to grind on while singing the usual, “Pony” and “Sexual Healing” and whatever else.

Busé plays guitar which is almost our sole accompaniment for the hour (there’s a little pre-recorded music for the diva mix that comes late in the game), and it’s his musical acumen, singing voice, and genial demeanour that’s the most winsome thing on the stage, even when the concept gets a little tiring and Gabrielle gets slightly shrill.

It’s a bit of silly fun, this show, and best to embrace its silliness and leave all kinds of “taking it seriously” at the door. If you do so, you’ll be rewarded by a genuinely funny closing number that was actually inspired – it could have almost been a whole show on its own. After a series of song medleys, we get the dance medley.

Yep, it’s every song you can remember that has a patented dance move, from YMCA to 5,6,7,8 to the Ketchup Song to the Nutbush and even Single Ladies. It’s genuinely, upliftingly funny.

Song choice makes the show feel a little dated (like it’s stuck a couple of years ago) and the “urban” indicators during the rap segment aren’t really enjoyable to watch at all, but it’s a fun concept and a quick laugh and all of that makes it exactly the right fit for the Fringe, for the basement of a bar, for a lark.

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