As faux bands go, “Queen: It’s A Kinda Magic” exhibits flawless musicianship and vocal dexterity, offering note-for-note reproductions of Queen’s ingenious tunes and flamboyant onstage machinations. What’s missing is a sense of spontaneity as helmer Peter Ross slavishly choreographs the moves, creating a smooth-flowing but non-involving evening of rock n’ roll pap.
With nearly 20 of Queen’s landmark ditties, including “We Will Rock You,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We are the Champions,” show hits all the musical high points of Queen’s career, complemented by the dazzling lights and a powerful aural impression of an ’80s rock concert minus the overwhelming volume.
Craig Pesco, as the late Freddie Mercury, valiantly attempts to match the energy, flamboyance and charisma of the lead singer, from his various wardrobe changes to his humor and propensity for elongated audience interaction. But his playful call-and-response antics with the Kodak crowd go on too long.
The other three members of the troupe perform admirably in their musically predictable roles. Brett Millican, who delivers technically perfect, nuanced percussion work, turns in the most inspired perf of the evening. Travis Hair’s guitar solos are true to their creator, Brian May, and Mitch Cairns ably duplicates the solid instrumental musicianship and vocal skills of bass player John Deacon.
“Queen,” which has been a hit attraction overseas, concludes its 11-city U.S. tour on Oct. 14 at Syracuse, N.Y.’s Landmark Theater.