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Death becomes her: A Brief List Of Everyone Who Died @finborough

For a natural process, death is not a topic that comes up naturally for people. We ask how people are doing but expect the response to be “I’m great”, not “I’m not dead yet”. And so for the main character in A Brief List of Everyone Who Died, Graciela has a death issue. Starting with when she was five and found out only after the matter that her parents had her beloved dog euthanised. So Graciela decides that nobody she loves will die from then on. And so this piece becomes a fruitless attempt at how she spends her life trying to avoid death while it is all around her. It’s currently having its world premiere  at the Finborough Theatre . As the play title suggests, it is a brief list of life moments where death and life intervene for the main character, from the passing of relatives, cancer, suicides, accidents and the loss of parents. Playwright Jacob Marx Rice plots the critical moments of the lives of these characters through their passing or the passing of those around them. Howeve

Music: Karen Akers

Karen Akers is playing at Pizza on the Park this week. Ms Akers is probably not so well known in London, but she was in the original Broadway cast of Nine and Grand Hotel. She also had a small role in the film Heartburn. These things I know, but she has also spent a lot of time in the last thirty years just recording and performing songs in her own way. This way is mostly a dark alluring alto voice which would make you do anything for her... Her ability to sing a song and hold your gaze might also have something to do with it...

Sitting in the front row it could be a little unnerving at times... particularly when you have Johnnyfox serenading her back on your right, and a crazy looking Dutch man at the table on your left looking at her with a wide-eyed fascination that couldn't be healthy (well I think that's what his wife sitting next to him and clutching him was thinking)... At one stage he looked as if he was about to get on stage and help her with her microphone stand when it became a bit stuck... When she tells the audience "I was grabbing it at the wrong end" that was not a comment that our table could let hang there without some schoolboy tittering...

Tonight she was singing was the music of Cole Porter. Her interpretation of the songs make them feel as if they are new. It was amazing to watch her turn a song like "Don't Fence Me In" into something that could almost be a torch song... Songs like "I Love Paris" gave her a chance to sing in French as well.

An evening to meditate over Cole Porter was not what I was expecting but I was sure glad to have been there to see it. Her show runs through to Sunday and worth catching.

This is probably the last time I will be at Pizza on the Park... Soon its funky artwork and low ceiling room will be a thing of the past... So it was only appropriate that a final semi-coherrent audio-boo captured those lasting impressions... Some of which are not quite accurate... She isn't old for instance, she is only sixty-five...


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