Crazy Coqs, London
For one night only this week, the fabulous Tiffany Graves was in cabaret at the Crazy Coqs. The stunning performer, increasingly appearing as one of our finest leading ladies, offered a collection of numbers that mixed career highspots with a dash of poignancy and some fabulous comedy.
In a gorgeous evening dress and sparkling with bling, Tiffany got the show underway with a nod to her magnificent Ulla in the recent tour of The Producers. It was a treat to hear “When You Got It, Flaunt It” for once sung without the cod Swedish accent, allowing Graves to focus on the lyrics’ inherent humour.
A witty little number “Tweet”, penned by Graves (inspired by Pal Joey’s “Zip”) saw her give name checks to friends and associates cramming the basement venue (interest declared – I was proud to be one of the shout-outs) before easing into a spine-tingling take on Tony Hatch’s “Downtown”. A song for so long associated with Petula Clark, Graves, accompanied solely by Leigh Thompson on piano did away with the trademark interpretations of the 1965 chart-topper, giving the number an all-new frisson in her version.
A nod to her current role in Kiss Me Kate led to a delicious Why Can’t You Behave, before the most enchanting of spiels led into an inspired mash-up of The Beatle’s Let It Be, with Disney’s Let It Go, Graves unleashing the full power of her remarkable belt.
Act two saw Graves return clad in a black- sequinned and closely tailored mermaid dress – which with her hair tightly cut reminded me of the look of a youthful Jamie Lee Curtis. A (mildly barbed, no names mentioned here) reference to her time in Sweet Charity kicked off the second half, that then saw the erudite Alexander Bermange take to the piano and mic for a guest spot that showcased the man’s hallmark wit.
Turning to the 1970’s Graves took the Marvin Hamlisch Bond song Nobody Does It Better, filleting the classic into ballad and belt and again giving an oh-so familiar number a wonderfully fresh interpretation.
It turned out that the night was Graves’ first wedding anniversary too (ahh..) and with devoted hubby Oliver toasting her from the crowd, who could begrudge a girl some self-indulgent romance as she closed her set with the schmaltzy (even if unquestionably sincere) I’ll Be Here With You, dedicated to her man.
Graves’ has to bring this solo show back. Gorgeous singing along with a cabaret patter that was as revealing as it was confident and hilarious. Her witty words at one point segueing into a deliriously wonderful Words, Words, Words from The Witches of Eastwick.
When she does, don’t miss it!