Shortly before Christmas, I had the pleasure of going to the Marble Arch Theatre to see the vibrant and energetic musical show, “Five Guys Named Moe”( directed by Clarke Peters). The Marble Arch theatre is a pop-up venue inspired a New Orleans Jazz club, complete with an authentic 1940’s bar and bandstand, constructed specifically for this show.
At the bar you are able to choose from a selection of bourbon based cocktails, but be sure to get there early, or to pre-order your drinks, as it takes the bar staff a little while to mix each cocktail. You don’t want to miss out having your large colourful drink as you enter the Jazz club style theatre, set in the round with a revolving stage. In the centre of the theatre you are able to relax in seats with cabaret tables at the Funky Butt Club. BUT BEWARE…there is audience participation. If you are bashful or shy (or a terrible singer like me) you may be in for a little surprise.
The show begins with Nomax (Edward Baruwa) drowning his sorrows with cigarettes and alcohol, listening to radio in the early hours of the morning. His girlfriend, Lorraine, has left him. He is broke and filled with melancholy, self-loathing and regret. Suddenly out of nowhere, five guys appear and introduce themselves as Big Moe (Horace Oliver), Little Moe (Idriss Kargbo), Eat Moe (Emile Ruddock), Four- Eyed Moe (Ian Carlyle) and Know Moe (Dex Lee). They are there to give him relationship advice, urge him to ditch the drink and win the love of his good woman back. The story makes use of joyful soul, blues and jazz played by the Funky Butt Club Band, whilst the Five Moes tackle Nomax’s problems in a humorous and tongue-in-cheek fashion.
Five Guys Named Moe features music from saxophonist and composer, Louis Jordan, including the hits “Early in the Morning”, “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby”, “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” and “Saturday Night Fish Fry”. The revolving stage will ensure that you feel like you are part of the energetic music and show, no matter where you are seated. The music and performances by the cast are infectious, captivating and there is not a single foot-tapping moment when you don’t feel like you’ve stumbled into a party in old school New Orleans.
Not only did I love this show (I also LOVED the retro drinks cabinet on stage), I took a friend who is not traditionally a fan of musical theatre. She thought it was incredible and immediately looked up ticket availability to see the show again. I suspect she particularly liked the Conga line to the bar.
Originally set to run until February, it has been extended to 24 March 2018. Fantastic news if you haven’t seen it yet. I would highly recommend tickets for this show as an imaginative and convivial date night. Or even as the perfect Valentine’s gift. It’s about relationships after all. With sexy, sassy music. It is one of the best musical shows I have seen in quite sometime and it guarantees an unforgettable and fun night out.