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Bear with me: Stitches @TheHopeTheatre

What if your teddy bear could talk? My ten-year-old self would think that to be excellent. My more recent self would think it was a high-concept buddy movie with Mark Wahlberg. But in Stictches, Jonathan Blakeley's monologue, which he has written and performed, traces the life of his beloved Chloe, from when she was first given to him by her grandmother, wrapped with a red ribbon. It becomes a story not just about a cute bear (or maybe that should be rough, shaggy-looking bear given the performer’s appearance) observing life but an exploration of life and all of its stages. It's currently playing at the Hope Theatre .  The bear is not warm and fuzzy; he is a bit of a character and tough-talking, but also a bit anxious about being accepted and then discarded as nothing. But he is there to bear witness as she navigates the complicated facets of growing up and having a life. Ultimately, the bear has to deal with being consigned to a box with her other memories until circumstances

Singing out: Alexandra Da Silva @pizzapheasantry

Alexandra Da Silva returned last week with her show La Petite Divatante at the Pheasantry in Chelsea.

For a little lady she has a big voice and the show is an opportunity to show off her musicality. And make a little fun of her height. She sings Part of Your World from The Little Mermaid with new lyrics by Christina Bianco about being too short to enjoy the sun.

But it is her reflective ballads linger with you. Her vocal, which at times has a country feel, gives these pieces extra emotional pull.

Particularly poignant was her performance of the song about 9/11, I'll be here (from Ordinary Days). Her interpretation of the lyrics and tender delivery underscored the emotion of the piece.

There is added excitement when joining her she is joined onstage by Caroline Gregory and they sing the duet from Sideshow I Will Never Leave You.

These moments work well and contrast with the bigger, brassier and showstopping numbers that fill the rest of the list.

It is refreshing to have a song list in cabaret that draws from so many recent Broadway shows. She deftly handles the comic possibilities arising from singing Killer Instinct (from the musical Bring It On) and Screw Loose (Cry Baby).

Reprising her comic turn from the Kander and Ebb revue The World Goes Round she also performs Ring Them Bells and Cabaret. They are so enjoyable it is hard to resist them becoming a singalong...

Her bubbly personality and infectious enthusiasm makes the evening a delight. If there is anything missing it would be a dialogue with the audience explaining why these songs mean so much to her. But with music director Joe Louis Robinson and Phil Donnelly on guitar, things are kept at a brisk pace. So there isn't much time to dwell on this.

Alexandra Da Silva does not yet have a long list of credits to her name, but her comic and dramatic potential makes her someone to watch. Hopefully we will get the opportunity to see her on the stage again soon.

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