Written by: Jackson Herman and Nathan Roys
2/57, 2nd March 2023
Reviewed by: Kate Morris
Back in 2011, in New York City, I giddily bought tickets from a tout for an intimate Flight of the Conchords show. Alas, my mother questioned the legitimacy of the tickets and marched us back for a refund. 12 years on I still regret that missed opportunity, but that changed after watching Truly Friday – Before They Were Famous.
I almost feel guilty making the comparison but the musical duo of Truly Friday – Jackson Herman and Nathan Roys – beat me to the punch, quipping that their “sustainably made comedy” recycles chord sequences straight from the Conchords. That’s not shade – if you want something familiar, nostalgic, and hilarious, then this show is for you.
We witness Herman and Roys as they attempt to find that one song that will catapult them to fame. We open with a short film (by Kelsey Robson and edited by Ashneil Dutt) of a dramatic shootout with parallel and future versions of the boys, dead set on stopping our heroes from making it to the stage and setting off an unavoidable sequence of events. The footage ends with the duo wrestling with the blackout curtains, breaking the fourth wall as they take to the stage.
Set against acoustic love letters to pop punk and mid-2000s indie, we are taken on a journey through a myriad of cleverly crafted topics. The raunchy Sexy Serial Killer perfectly pokes fun at the misplaced fascination with and borderline eroticism of true crime, followed up with more on-the-nose hits about everything from killing billionaires to single moms and grieving that men can never experience lesbian sex. You know, the big stuff.
On top of their hysterical lyrics and musical flair, these two have chemistry in spades. Their banter between songs – both with each other and the audience – is infectious, all culminating in an onstage meat raffle and an ode to the great Kiwi tradition, Crate Day.
If you like your music funny, and your funny musical, you need to see this show. The future depends on it.