Endless banter: Just another night with Lady Rizo
Lady Rizo is making her London debut playing downstairs at the Soho Theatre and amusing and enthralling audiences with her mix of incredible vocals and offbeat humour. She tells the audience frequently that she is a chanteuse, and it is her singing rather than her comic ability which is what you should see her for. She is more mildly mischievous than funny. Her banter last Wednesday tended to get in the way of the music... Even if it involved a fascinating discussion with a lady in the front row who disclosed she raped a man at a heavy metal festival when she was sixteen, it still was very mildly risque fare.
What makes her show a real treat is her ability to give a new, often comic perspective, on familiar songs. She also has a powerful set of vocals with a range that she uses to comic effect. The songs she covered when she wasn't getting distracted by people in the audience included a funny, stalker-like torch song for our times, I Google You which felt like a worthy update to an earlier stalker song, Blossom Dearie's I'm Shadowing You. Other songs included a haunting rendition of Bali Hai from South Pacific and a wonderfully powerful rendition of Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colours.
Dolly Parton's song about a child who loves her mother's coat made of rags is given an added personal dimension after she tells the story of being raised on a commune in California and only coming into contact at the age of six with children from the outside world. In this world of clean faces, white bread sandwiches and juice boxes, she found herself treated as an outcast. Of course she eventually rebels against this hippie upbringing with glamour and penchant for feathers, gowns and false eyelashes, but this is just one of her props for putting on a great show. She still seems true to her roots and that makes her a fascinating and unique performer.
Her show runs at the Soho Theatre until 9 March but be quick as only a handful of tickets are remaining in this run...