FRINGEWORLD 2019: Tony Galati the Musical | 5 Stars

Review | Kieran Eaton

When we think of the word Perthanlity, it’s hard not to think of Tony Galati – known as the ‘Spud King’ for his potato revolution that lead to the business Spud Shed. Aarnav Productions have maximised their creative skills to make a musical that tells the story of Tony Galati, right from when he was a child and his family travelled all the way from Sicily to Perth. Using some of the best talents from local theatre groups, like The Big Hoo Haa – this show is certainly a perfect fit for FRINGEWORLD 2019.

Aarnav Productions are a collaboration between Dan DeBuf and Sonia Arakkal, who with those surnames would have experienced the prejudice of old school WASP thinking – especially in small-town, isolated Perth. Intelligently, this musical does not adhere to revision history but keeps it light with plenty of well peppered gags, and we first learn that Tony’s passion for the potato came from his father, Francesco (both roles played by Thomas Papathanassiou).

Tony’s voice is beautifully captured by Papathanassiou’s acting and DeBuf’s writing. It is surprising how respectfully this is done, as ‘The Spud King’ is mostly caricaturised by the media in a typical simplistic manner. There is even a hilarious mimic of an interview with the Sunrise Team of David “Kochie” Koch and Samantha Armitage, where two of the performers from the Perth Improv troupe use their comic talents to bring many great moments of laughter.

In terms of musical direction by Caleb Garfinkel, the songs are aptly coordinated to align with the theme of the story – from old Italian music sounds to up beat music to signal the Perth’s obsession with modernisation, in the expense of character and charm.

This weaves all together to create a friendly show that will make you feel good inside. Go see Tony Galati The Musical to laugh and sing with a local Perthanality hero.

WHEN: 12 – 17 February 2019 | 6:00pm

WHERE: De Parel Speigeltent  | Pleasure Garden | Northbridge

INFO: Tickets $27 – $30 | Duration 60m | Age suitability: All ages | THEATRE | MUSIC | COMEDY


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