Only an Octave Apart. Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, London E1 to 22 October 2022. 4****. William Russell

Combine a New York cabaret star and a well known counter tenor and this funny revue is what you get – launched in America in 2021 the partnership has now come for their London premiere to the perfect place – Wilton’s. It is stylishly staged – Carlos Soto has come up with some of the best curtains for the pair to perform in front of, peek through or pull back, that theatre has probably every had and Jonathan Anderson’s costumes for the pair are a delight to behold. Justin Vivian Bond as befits a diva gets the dresses climaxing in a splendid purple sequined shift, while Anthony Roth Constanzo gets trouser suits rather than skirts as befits a gay blade although he does end up in a shimmering green shift. Their contrasting voices combine – the opening number, the title song of the show sums what they are offering up perfectly. Anderson dishes out the wisecracks, Costanzo sings the arias his counter tenor soaring to the ceiling. The result is a witty musical evening to relish which celebrates the differences in queer identities. If there is a flaw it is that American speed at delivering a line can be different from the British way and not all the wisecracks hit home as powerfully as they deserve- it is not that they mumble, but maybe they throwaway just too casually. However as they become accustomed to the hall that will probably change. But it is when they sing that things take wing with Bond delivering a lovely Autumn Leaves and a wistful I’m Always Chasing Rainbows and Constanzo astonishing every time he opens his mouth. There is a substantial nine member strong orchestra to provide the backing and the result is an evening of unforgettable songs sung by unforgetable performers. The double act the pair created in 2021 was made in heaven.

Justin Vivian Bond.

Anthony Rorth Costanzo.

Director & Co-creator: Zack Winokur.

Set Design: Carlos Soto.

Lighting Design: John Torres. Sound Design: Lucy Baker & Ed lewis.

Costumes; Jonathan Anderson for JW Aderson and LOEWE.

Musical Director: Daniel Schlosberg.

Production photograph: Ellie Kurttz.

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