There is very little not to like about Two Hearts as musical comedy duo Laura Daniel and Joseph Moore kick into a high-energy pop concert with great singing, sizzling dance moves and wickedly funny jokes.
Their humour occupies a liminal space — instinctively ironic but never cynical; hedonistic without being reckless; earnestly engaged with the issues of the day but easily distracted and almost cool without managing to shake off a residual nerdiness.
They are the perfect embodiment of the "whatever" generation that can effortlessly hold together contradictions which left the baby-boomers hopelessly polarised. This mood of ambivalence is used to great comic effect in the songs: there's a passionate call to legalise marijuana — but only for medicinal purposes. A stirring feminist anthem extols the virtues of sisterhood so long as it's okay to hate on one particular girl and a supermarket shopping spree never quite answers the question, "would you rather save $2 or save the planet?".
A similar ambiguity hovers around the love-hate dynamic within the duo with embarrassing recollections of a one-night stand holding out the promise of romantic fulfilment.
Despite its casual vibe, the show benefits from meticulous attention to stage-craft. A sharply choreographed dance quartet burn up the stage with routines neatly integrated into the comedy. Lighting effects, music, twin-screen video projections and low-rent pyrotechnics give a convincing impression of an arena pop concert while providing opportunities for jokes about the perils of rolling like superstars on the budget of up-and-coming comedians.
As a musical comedy duo with a uniquely Kiwi style of humour, Daniel and Moore could be seen as a generational update on "New Zealand's fourth-most-popular folk parody duo" and much of their audience would have been toddlers when Flight of the Concords started doing gigs in small comedy venues. It's nice to think history could repeat.
What: Two Hearts — Auckland World Tour
Where and when: Loft at Q Theatre, until Saturday
Reviewer: Paul Simei-Barton