For a high point – and high note – of your theatrical calendar, take a long-overdue trip to Wilton’s Music Hall (c’mon, even if you’ve been before, you know you should have gone back sooner) for Only an Octave Apart this Autumn.
Combining the vocal talents of Justin Vivian Bond and Anthony Roth Costanzo, it’s a show that’s quintessentially New York (which is why, obviously, it will fit right in in London).
Bond is an acclaimed singer-songwriter, actor, and cabaret artiste par excellence (not to mention co-originator of cult Tony-nominated double act Kiki and Herb), whilst Costanzo is a globally revered countertenor (that’s right, amongst the rarest of all the operatic ranges – the one with the hiiiiiigh notes).
Together, the pair have an easy rapport, clearly revelling in one another’s company, as they take their audience on a musical journey combining the theatricality of cabaret with the power of opera. Much like homegrown musical favourites Frisky and Mannish, Bond and Costanzo explore musical mashups, but of the wilder and weirder variety – look out for their showstopping combination of 17th century aria ‘Dido’s Lament’ with Dido’s early 2000s hit ‘White Flag’.
For a taste of the show’s sublime silliness (perhaps a modern counterpart to Sally Bowles’ divine decadence?) why not treat yourself to the set the pair performed as part of NPR’s legendary Tiny Desk series. It’s a tantalising taste of the show making its way to London; a celebration of differences, of queerness, of Bond’s trans identity, and a staggering showcase of Costanzo’s soaring, revelatory countertenor voice.
The crooked, Dickensian, picturesque setting of Wilton’s is somehow the perfect venue for this totally unique pairing, and their beguiling show. It’s camp, it’s touching, it’s powerful.
Only an Octave Apart is coming. Make a note of it.
NOTE: Only an Octave Apart runs at Wilton’s Music Hall from 28th September – 22nd October. Tickets cost £21-40, and you can book now, HERE.
Only an Octave Apart | Wilton’s Music Hall, Graces Alley, London E1 8JB
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