Tony Galati the Musical
We already know the potato is a versatile vegetable thanks to the plethora of ways it can be cooked.
Now, the humble potato has become an inspiration, thanks to Tony Galati the Musical – a quintessentially West Australian story of the perils and the rise of our state’s spud king.
The show kicks off with a bang, taking a look at the Galati family history, from its humble beginnings in Sicily, with Tony’s father Francesco taking centre stage, before it travels to Perth as the family immigrates to Australia.
The musical is fast-paced from start to finish, with Francesco, Tony, Tony’s son Frankie, the bad guys at the WA Potato Marketing Corporation, a potato and a few TV personalities belting out punny tune after tune. And while they’re singing, dancing and handing out free potatoes – we love when art imitates life – they weave a story of family and standing up to the big guys.
Thomas Papathanassiou is phenomenal as our unlikely hero. He nails Galati’s soft-spoken voice, mannerisms, and even the eyebrows, albeit with a little artificial help. It’s also hard not to like Sam Longley as the villain in all this, as he takes on the role WAPMC head Russet Burbank Jr.
But it’s an all-singing, all-dancing potato that wins everyone’s hearts, encouraging Tony, and the audience, to stand up for what they believe in.
If you’re not familiar with the Galati story, this musical is inspired by real events that resulted in the disbanding of the WAMPC in 2016, with a little bit of artistic licence taken along the way.
It’s astonishing how many Perth in-jokes creatives Dan Debuf and Caleb Garfinkel have managed to squeeze in to 60 tight minutes.
And even if some of it goes straight over your head, especially if you’re unfamiliar with Perth or the Galati vs the Potato Corporation story, you’ll still leave the show uplifted, have a song or two stuck in your head and a potato or two in your hands.