She’ll Be Right is a quintessentially Australian one-man show from WAAPA graduate Todd Peydo, concentrating on personal dreams and work/life balance. The plot tells the story of Russell “Rusty” Bell, a typical tradie, and his struggle between continuing the family tradition of working a trade or breaking out of his hi-vis to follow his dream of becoming a Broadway star. Not your typical musical.
With witty parodies of popular musical theatre songs such as ‘I’m the Greatest Star’ (Funny Girl), ‘El Tango de Roxanne’ (Moulin Rouge) and ‘Roxie’ (Chicago), Peydo keeps the audience laughing. Mixed in with jokes that cater specifically to an Australian audience — Scott Morrison punchlines, ciggie breaks, smoko and sickies — this 60-minute show draws on the stereotype that’s tied to a true blue Aussie tradie.
But under Bell’s masculine characteristics lie issues you’ll be thinking about for days to come. The parody of ‘Sixteen Going On Seventeen’ (The Sound of Music) points out the struggles of young adults interested in creative careers, particularly when there are expectations of being a breadwinner or a tough man. Unfortunately, even today, being a young bloke interested in musical theatre can lead you down a hard road. In a parody of ‘Everybody Ought to Have a Maid’ (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum), Peydo’s character recalls his dad’s disapproval of musical theatre followed by the line, “I didn’t know what queer meant. But if it involved singing or dancing then I was up for it”.
While somewhat slow at the beginning, Peydo puts on an excellent performance that encapsulates the Australian spirit and leaves us thinking about gender and career expectations. The quality of the show picks up as Russell Bell gains more confidence and you’ll certainly be leaving The Butterfly Club humming show tunes.