fri 22/10/2021

cabaret

Christine Rice, Julius Drake, Wigmore Hall review - songs of love and death

It began as a Christmas present in the bleakest of winters. In December 1939, as war engulfed Europe, Bertolt Brecht sent a poem to the exiled Kurt Weill in New York. Weill set it as a bittersweet gift for his wife Lotte Lenya. “Nannas Lied” – the...

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Album: Tankus the Henge - Luna Park!

Tankus the Henge are one of Britain’s most energized, entertaining and spirit-raising live bands. If they were allowed to endlessly tour the nation, exempt from lockdown rules, they could eliminate the COVID blues, concert by ebullient concert. They...

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'She was Paris': RIP Zizi Jeanmaire (1924-2020)

"You talk like Marlene Dietrich, you dance like Zizi Jeanmaire, your clothes are all made by Balmain, and there’s diamonds and pearls in your hair…" . Peter Sarstedt may have been a one-hit wonder, but his 1969 pop song, "Where do you go to (my...

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Into the Night: Cabarets and Clubs in Modern Art, Barbican review - great theme, disappointing show

The Barbican’s latest offering – a look at the clubs and cabarets set up by artists mainly in the early years of the 20th century – is a brilliant theme for an exhibition. Established as alternatives to galleries and museums, places like the Chat...

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CD: Renée Zellweger - Judy

Renée Zellweger already has strong musical cinema form, Her role as Roxie Hart in Chicago garnered her second Oscar nomination. However, playing and singing Judy Garland is a whole different ball game. The film Judy takes a late-Sixties run of...

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Philharmonia, Salonen, RFH review – bittersweet Berlin

Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia kicked off their series of concerts devoted to the edgy culture of the Weimar Republic with a programme that featured three works (out of four) derived in some way from the musical stage. That included, as a...

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Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), Brighton Festival 2019 review - a feverishly foul-mouthed musical comedy

Five years ago this Kneehigh Theatre production caused a stir with its vibrant modern retelling of John Gay’s 18th century satirical classic, The Beggar’s Opera. It’s currently on tour again and it’s easy to see why a revival was greenlit. It’s a...

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CD: Billie Eilish - When We All Go To Sleep Where Do We Go?

Billie Eilish is a vaudevillian. Crack that and everything else falls into place. Her impossible precociousness (at 17, she's a superstar and has been in the public eye for four years) and voraciousness (her and her brother Finneas's writing swerves...

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L'heure espagnole, Mid Wales Opera review - Ravel goes like clockwork

Mid Wales Opera makes small-scale touring look fun – even when you suspect that, behind the scenes, it really isn’t. Barely 24 hours before this performance of their current production of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole, and 11 dates into their current 16...

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Dietrich: Natural Duty, Wilton's Music Hall review - elegy for one

Getting the look right is half the battle: in that, Peter Groom's one-time-Captain Marlene Dietrich is a winner from the start. The looks at the audience nail it too, heavy-lidded and lashed but transfixing, charismatic, winning instant complicity....

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Jake Shears, Concorde 2, Brighton review - a blitz of glitz

One of the biggest crowd roars of the night comes right at the start when Jake Shears runs onstage. He is wearing a grey top hat, a white tail-jacket with glittered lapel-edging, silver glittery trousers, a tight black sequinned vest top, and a bow...

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CD: Jake Shears - Jake Shears

There are two schools of thought on the Scissor Sisters. One was that they were vapid, over-cheery retro-pop of the worst order. The other is that they were an extension of New York’s ever-mischievous underground in all its underground LGBT+ disco...

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