A show called Hot Gay Time Machine probably conjures immediate images of over the top, outlandish, camp behavior complete with witty remarks and dance breaks. That reaction would be quite right. Surely a cabaret with long strands of tinsel, two cardboard cut-outs of Beyonce and sets pinker than a Pepto-Bismol plant is all surface and no substance, right?
Don’t be fooled. This 60-minute musical two-hander, running this week at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival offers so much more. After getting the audience revved up with ecstatic club music, stars Toby Marlow and Zak Ghazi-Torbati take us through a journey of coming out (cleverly aided with audience participation), the horrors of high school gym class, the complexity of friendship between gay men, and the way in which we should respectfully treat our female friends.
Both of them are hugely talented. Ghazi-Torbati’s voice is particularly rich and full of range. Marlow’s piano skills also impress. Together, their chemistry is top notch as they deliver both original and cover songs.
This popular piece, fabulously directed by Lucy Moss, has already traveled to London. Apparently, it’s been playing the Fringe for the past few years where it continues to sell out on a nightly basis. One can only hope that this duo set their time machine to the future and bring their brilliance to New York audiences.
Incidentally, Zak and Toby encourage you to tweet about their show. In fact, if you don’t, “it might be considered homophobia and maybe even a hate crime.” So, get to it!
*This review is part of Manhattan Digest’s continuous coverage of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Stay tuned for more reviews through August 27th!