Rob Mills Is … Surprisingly Good
Starting with a high-energy “Live in Living Color” (Catch Me If You Can) Rob Mills in his first outing as a cabaret performer proved he was not only “Surprisingly good”,but surprisingly charismatic and massively entertaining.
The title of the show stems from reviewer’s frequently referring to him as surprisingly good, which allowed Mills to take the mickey out of himself. A runner-up in the first series of Australian Idol, “Millsy” survived the ups and downs of reality television and an overnight pop career, to finally establish himself as a leading man in musical theatre in Wicked. In fact he claims musical theatre rescued him from a landscape of pub-rock singing covers of pop.
With a kick-ass band led by Andrew Worboys, Mills, using his signature Wicked tune “Dancing through Life,” spun the audience on a roller-coaster ride through his career.Taylor Swift’s “Trouble” was a great comment on his media over-hyped tryst with Paris Hilton. His use of “Moving Too Fast” (The Last Five Years), “Say It To Me Now” (Once),and“Purpose” (Avenue Q), were good choices to highlight special moments, whilst a salute to Australian Idol with a medley which included Backstreet Boys “Oh My God I’m Back Again”, NSYNC’s “It’s Gotta Be Me”, and Moving Pictures’ “What About Me” brought instant audience identification.
A larrikin edge was present in his patter which was personable, ingratiating, and self-deprecating. His account of auditioning for the Fiyero role in Wicked felt particularly truthful and honest, and his late on-stage costume change into his Fiyero jodhpurs gave the audience some unexpected eye-candy.
This was top-tier cabaret and Mills should find himself in demand on this burgeoning circuit.