PAUL MOROCCO & OLÉ
Olé! - Latin Music & Flamenco Comedy
The Gypsy Kings go juggling! Paul Morocco and his »Amigos« are without doubt extremely skilled maniacs.
The light breaks his way through the fog, like the dawn above an andalusian field. Dark figures with hats get visible, allways ready to attack their audience with unexpected actions as well as with musical highlights. Is this another spaghetti-western? It is a complete pasta-arsenal, friends, only beliveable after you have seen their show …
Once upon a time in the depths of Andalusia, three brothers lived in a village called »Los Mosquitos«. The days were hot … and so were the nights.
At one of those hot nights the »Banditos« came into the city and robbed all the chicken. This was a long time ago and since then the three brothers are on their tribe around the world, equiped with their fire-guitars, their incredible speed-dance and their unpredictable ball-spits, to find the lost chicken and to bandon the »Banditos«…
Paul Morocco and his »Amigos« are a cast of highly skilled musicians and a mad Casablancan in the middle. Their show »Olé« is a subversive, zany and wonderful celebration of Flamenco.
This spectacular show is full of surreal invention and fun. Comedy, guitar and the percussive Seville orange! Olé is all exhilarating sounds and rhythms of flamenco and palmas to the extrordinary cajon drum and always with the eternal clown figure of Paul Morocco and the wit that is Olé!
You will never see a show more bizarre and unpredictable… It’s flamenco but not as you know it.
Olé premiered in highly sucessful sell-out runs at the »Just For Laughs« Festival in Montreal and at the Assembly Rooms at the Edinburgh Festival, gaining superb reviews such as:
»Comedy with grandes cochõnes«
»If you haven’t seen them before, go! If you have, go again!«
»A real treat, funny, unpredictable and spectacular!«
»A riotous, rib-tickling, salsa-loving show
PELTING people with eggs is a slapstick staple almost as old as eggs themselves. But somehow, when the trio from Ole! The Latin Music Comedy Explosion does it, it seems fresh and rib-ticklingly funny. Adults roar with laughter, children giggle uncontrollably, grannies practically fall over themselves.
This is what happened at Saturday's performance at the Esplanade Theatre Studio, which generated three encores expressed via the riotous stamping of feet. The guitar-based improvisational act also contained a dead plastic chicken, a wedding between two oranges, saliva-smothered ping-pong balls, and a flamenco drag queen. It's not high art, but who needs high art when you can have I Believe I Can Fly serenaded to you by a man in a scarlet garter?
Paul Morocco, the creator of the show that also stars Guillermo de Endaya and Antonio Gomez, has that true comic talent – he is funny just by stepping on stage. Making the most of his height and girth (Gomez introduced him as 'Obelix'), Morocco elicits titters just by appearing. He then proceeds to parade in one outlandish costume after another, bend his fingers into weird contortions, and juggle with balls and flaming torches. His partners complete the zany round-off of personalities, De Endaya playing the slightly nerdy, romantic intellectual and Gomez being the red-hot Latin lover who cannot keep his shirt on.
Together, they strum us through the Western musical canon, from pop ballads to rock 'n' roll to the blues to classical to hip hop, even inserting a tribute to the infamous Nokia ringtone (which was actually taken from a guitar composition by Francisco Tarrega), though their main staple is Latino music such as the salsa and samba. The strumming is pretty impressive too, highly energetic in most instances, but beautifully lyrical in some.
Apart from the slapstick props and mimicry – De Endaya did a marvellous take of a Mumbai call-centre receptionist at one point – Ole does something more subtle. It teases out the element of the absurd inherent in the famous tunes we know – the maudlin self-absorption of Hello, the feel-good hippy mushiness of Guantanamera, the theatricality of the theme strain from The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, the mouth-mincing effeteness of any piece of classical Baroque. There's a reason why all these songs became so popular; on one level, they help add drama to our lives.
The show was a hoot and a half, and big-hearted as well, as the $35 performance stretched out to two hours, without intermission, including the three encores. Muchas gracias, mis amigos.«
(Business Times Singapore)