Her character talks like Minnie Mouse but boy, can Megan Mullally sing

NANCY AND BETH ★★★★
Melbourne Recital Centre, June 12 & 13

There’s a fine line between deadpan and flat – and Nancy and Beth veered close to the latter at the start of their Melbourne Recital Centre performance on Wednesday.

Stephanie Hunt and Megan Mullally are Nancy and Beth.

But a few songs in, they dropped the world-weary shtick and hit their stride, delivering a superb 90 minutes of what’s best described as contemporary vaudeville. Their covers span country, blues, gospel, rap and jazz; interspersed with tight comic banter and a lascivious ode to Walmart folding chairs. In place of sequins and fishnets, they wear matching pink tracksuits and sensible shoes.

Nancy and Beth is the band name of duo Megan Mullally, who plays helium-voiced barfly Karen Walker on Will & Grace, and Friday Night Lights actor Stephanie Hunt. When they sing in unison, it’s something to behold; Mullally offering a gutsy rendition of Tammy Wynette’s No Charge before hitting the smoky depths of Please Mr Jailer, offset by Hunt’s crystalline delivery.

When they rope in backing musician Petra Haden, they almost reach the heights of Trio’s Parton, Ronstadt and Harris.

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