History tells us of Charles Darwin’s time in the Galapagos Islands off Ecuador in 1835. There, he found similar finches had different beaks, allowing them access to a specific diet. In a glancing sort of way, Galapagos! the Musical touches on how such observations coalesced into Darwin’s Theory of Evolution.
Here, Darwin gets some time to talk to, and sing and dance with, a tribe of lizards. In the MICF guide, the show promised to take “… a swipe at Christianity’s nutty theory that God made the world in seven days”. As this references the Old Testament, the work does double duty by also sneering at the beliefs of Jews.
The swipes at federal conservative political figures are too lightweight to deliver humour. Some risqué asides seemed particularly undergraduate and unsuitable for families in attendance at a 2.00pm show.
The work made a big deal about one lizard who has evolved to swim, yet saw no problem with most of a family of landlubber lizards moving to another island. And that non-sequitur ending must be why Galapagos! has an exclamation mark.
There’s a power struggle within a royal family for control of the tribe, but these lizards lack the heft of their counterparts from The Lion King. Also, songs here had variable value in advancing the story.
The piece seems unlikely to bring devotees of MICF more than periods of bemusement. However, everyone danced their little reptilian hearts out in some wonderfully vivid costumes, and some of the vocal performances were accomplished. Galapagos! the Musical is most memorable as a showcase for a certain naïve charm.
Galapagos! the Musical
The Melba Spiegeltent, 35 Johnston Street, Collingwood
Performance: Sunday 31 March 2019 – 2.00pm
Season continues to 14 April 2019
Information and Bookings: www.comedyfestival.com.au
Image: Galapagos! the Musical (supplied)
Review: Jason Whyte