La Bohème, Fri Feb 27
The show commences with some guitar strums from Jean-Marc Girard, followed by a mysterious figure entering in darkness to perform a version of I Put A Spell On You that teeters somewhere between dramatic and silly.
Josipa Draisma is an intense figure with a taste for dark atmospherics. The theatricality of her performance is heavy-handed, too much so for the song list suited for a more traditional cabaret show. Fine songs all, but predictable choices. Kurt Weill’s Alabama Song. Tick. Jaques Brel’s In The Port Of Amsterdam. Tick. Gershwin’s I Loves You, Porgy. Tick. Summertime. Tick. No wait, that morphs into Tom Waits’ Burma Shave, a rambling monologue Waits did many years back over that very tune. Brave, very brave.
Perhaps sensing the need to lighten up a little, the duo switch to a rendition of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb complete with kazoo solos. That’s right! Pink Floyd. Kazoo! All sense of them being too predictable goes flying out the window, but when they then move on to Dolly Parton so does any sense of this show‘s narrative thread.
Some semblance of order is restored with Leonard Cohen’s Anthem, which after a spoken first verse becomes a fine vehicle for Josipa’s voice. It is also rapidly closing in on Hallelujah as a much-covered hymn.
Josipa clearly has an excellent cabaret voice, and Jean-Marc is an impressive accompanist. They are obviously capable of putting together an original and highly entertaining cabaret. I hope they do.
Star Rating: 2.5