Baby Wants Candy Full Band

Baby Wants Candy

Assembly George Square

From 31 July 2013 to 26 August 2013

Rating: *****

Review by David Chadderton

Chicago's Baby Wants Candy has a great publicity line to finish: it's a different show every night, so if you liked it, come again; if you didn't like it, come again!

I first saw this group more than a decade ago in Edinburgh, and they are still as popular, making up full musicals on the spot to packed houses. Other groups have sprung up since to do a similar thing, and if you would like to learn how to do it they are offering beginners' and advanced workshops while they are in Edinburgh.

The way it works is they ask for suggestions for titles from the audience. From amongst the shouts—many have been before and come with prepared ideas—they pick one and instantly launch into the first number, accompanied by a live four-piece band.

The whole show is slick and impressive, moving from number to number via minimal dialogue with no discussion, just the occasional hand gesture across the stage. It's also very, very funny.

The title of the piece I saw was Help! My Boyfriend's A Bacterium. There's no point in relating the plot as it will never be performed again, but the amount of technical, scientific terminology incorporated into the lyrics was very impressive (although they didn't seem to know the plural of "bacterium"). When the end of a line in a song about microbiology ends in "papyrus", guess what the next line ends with...

A nice touch at the end of the show is that the person who suggested the title gets a tee-shirt with their title on it, which is at least as professionally printed as the ones you can see all over Edinburgh.

This is a show where you come out extremely impressed by the skill of the performers and also thoroughly entertained. Great fun and well worth seeing.