Bromance is a new musical comedy that pokes gentle fun at the rules guys lay down when attempting to engage in a close friendship with another man.
According to its creators Kyle Ewalt and Michael Ian Walker, St Patrick’s Day in the USA is a time of male bonding. Friends get blinding drunk together while setting the world to rights and the show opens with this ritual, at the Peg Leg’s Irish Pub in Chicago.
If you took it seriously, Walker’s book could be considered fairly offensive, presenting a misogynist’s-eye-view of a world where the only good woman is one who acts like a man.
But Sarah Redmond directs with a satirist’s eye and while the characters of Tom, Dick and Harry aspire to be like those in their favourite movie Point Blank, they are closer in spirit and philosophy to The Goonies, seeking escapism from an ever encroaching adult world.
Ewalt’s score is a little repetitive at first, but finally comes into its own with You Get Me. This fun, multi-faceted duet sums up the burgeoning relationship between Robbie Smith’s animated Dick and Joshua Gannon’s interloper Marty.
Vocally there are a couple of stand-out performances too from Richard J Hunt as the ever-hungry Harry and Esme Laudat, gamely tackling a range of long-suffering female stereotypes.
Bromance might be flawed but it is entertaining, mainly thanks to the self assurance of its cast, the bravura of the band, led by Andy Smith and a handful of genuinely uplifting musical numbers