Crazy Coqs, London – until 5 November 2019
Lorna Dallas is the essence of old school cabaret distilled. She oozes glamour and combines the look of Blanche Deveraux with a spirit of a proper Illinois broad. She sings standards, torch songs and tells the story of her life on the stage. Before she gave it all up for love.
Opening on a medley of ‘There’s No Business Like Show Business’ and ‘A Glamorous Night’ she sets the scene from the off. It’s clear that this is cabaret as its purest form. Lorna Dallas came to deliver – and she does it in her highest register.
Accompanied by Simon Beck on the piano, for 90 minutes we were taken on a musical journey which accompanied the theme of the stages of Lorna’s life. The stages she has been through and the stages she has played.
Dallas is clearly a highly accomplished and talented singer. The music wasn’t always to my taste, and could have used a little more variety. I also felt she employed a little more vibrato than I thought necessary. It’s an impressive skill, but works best when used sparingly.
But this is nitpicking at what was an enjoyable and interesting evening. One I wouldn’t normally have experienced. These were wonderful songs, sung well. But in many ways, it was the story Lorna told – about her life in and out of showbusiness – that really made the evening swing. Long may she continue.