Buona Sera Signorina is a good show to introduce your hesitant or conservative friends to. This Fringe show has a bunch of elements that translate well on paper. Italian music, cultural exchange, phenomenal jazz vocals, audience involvement all set in the beautiful State Theatre Centre courtyard. It falls somewhere between a fringe show, a Perth festival show, or something you’d see on a typical night at the Ellington. The humour was there, the jokes simple and relevant. Somewhere all this potential didn’t permeate my superficial perception. This show would probably be enjoyed by an older crowd if last night’s attendance was anything to go by. Some heteronormative references made it feel a bit off and un-Fringe-esque.
The standout was the multi-instrumentalist who flawlessly and suavely executed no less than 4 instruments. The trombone parts were quirky, with a good use of sound effects to compliment the humour in between songs. I got excited every time I saw him pick up a different instrument.
The clarinet in the final song was hard to hear, which can be forgiven as the previous show ran overtime not allowing a lot of time for a soundcheck. Such is the nature of Fringe. You can’t always expect something polished at Fringe, and the way the acts work with the mishaps is what makes a show. It was hard to tell if the mismatch between vocalist Etta D’Elia’s requests for piano riffs to soundtrack the mood of her stories between songs was a comedic display or a lack of chemistry between the artists. Given how talented the pianist is, I’d guess the former. He always managed to end up with something clever to accompany the stage antics. Within the songs, I thoroughly enjoyed his finesse on the keys.
Going to a show on opening night can sometimes be a risk. It can take a couple of runs for the acts to get in their groove. Another night or another demographic may get more out of this than I did.
Buona Sera Signorina: Italian Music Meets Jazz closes Feb 4 at Fringe World Perth.