Decked out in a crisp, white tuxedo, Josh Glanc stood out starkly in front of the royal blue stage backdrop. In a booming, jazzy voice, he began singing ‘Luck Be A Lady’, and for a moment one may have thought that they’d entered into the wrong room at 2019’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He was no Sinatra, but he wasn’t bad either.
Then came the corny dance moves, which, paired with some intense eye contact, ensured that only after a few minutes of the show starting, the audience was hooked. We knew that his new show, Glance You For Having Me was going to be something pretty weird.
This time, Glanc (pronounced ‘Glance’, not ‘Glank’) has ditched his usual wicked brand of silliness and launched into a show that’s more personal, reflective and meaningful. After touring his award-winning acts over the past few years, Glanc has racked up a loyal following. His usual style of comedy entails loosely written sketches that are embellished by sporadic character changes, mime, lip-sync, prop humour and musical acts. However, Glance You For Having Me works a bit differently as he takes a more introspective approach to his performance. Those who’ve seen and loved his shows may be sceptical about his new style, but they need not be.
After some more dancing and a few passionate renditions of the choruses from ‘Fast Car’ and ‘Unknown Legend’, Glanc delved into the narrative substance of his act. The show itself explores his complex relationship with his mother. He touches on the overbearing aspects of her character, but also admits to his own juvenile reliance on his mum. He tells tales of his youthful mischief and the time he faked appendicitis and short-sightedness, to the point where he had his appendix removed in surgery and now wears glasses permanently. It’s a unique way of honouring his mother, but Glanc succeeds in making the audience apprehend his appreciation for her.
What makes Glanc so brilliant is his ability to weave music, props and theatre into one narrative and create a seamless show that’s filled with many different elements. What’s more, his ability to connect with his audience guarantee’s that you’re engaged, excited and a little bit confused throughout the whole hour.
At the beginning of the performance, Glanc mentioned that “the ordinary rules didn’t apply to [him]”. This pretty much sums up Glance You For Having Me. The show is a high-energy, demented and hilarious hour of entertainment, and works as a brilliant exploration of Glanc’s comedic versatility; it’s a cacophony of comedy gold. It takes a skilled comedian to perfectly fuse traditional stand-up comedy with theatrical performance, musical numbers, mime and even an old-school magic trick, all while communicating something meaningful and personal.
Highlight: His two fake penises.
Lowlight: The slight disgust the audience feels when Glanc uses one fake penis to urinate into a plant.
Crowd favourite: The twist at the end (not giving away any spoilers).
Josh Glanc’s Glance You For Having Me is running until Sunday April 21 (bar Mondays) as part of Melbourne International Comedy Festival.