There was little doubt that the pasty white Neil Medlyn recreating Beyonce's concert DVD would be hilarious -- the question was would it be hilarious after the first fifteen minutes? Happily, the answer was yes, as Medlyn knocked the crowd dead at Friday night's edition of The Works, starting with his fairly spastic rendition of Miss B's "Crazy in Love."
Backed by two male dancers, Medlyn played the entire show with a straight face, trying to the best of his ability to exactly mimic Beyonce's singing style, dance moves and even the in-between patter. And after getting over the initial hilarity of Medlyn shaking his juicy-fruit in an extremely hugging pair of silver lycra shorts, I started to realize some things about Beyonce and her live performances: 1) She doesn't sing an awful lot, letting the crowd do much of the work, and 2) Her dance moves are ridiculous -- no matter who's doing them.
But what was really strange and fun from a viewer's perspective, is that as Medlyn was impersonating Beyonce, his audience began impersonating Beyonce's audience: doing exactly what he/she commanded, down to the boisterous sing-along of "Irreplaceable" (I was stunned how many people -- including myself -- remembered the words).
In the end it was a unique way of stepping back to study the audience/performer relationship, while simultaneously being part of the relationship. And even better? I feel no need whatsoever to actually see Beyonce in concert. I doubt she could top Medlyn.