[MUSIC/Jazz ~ SA]
Nexus Arts, Tue 3 Mar.
Zooma Zooma is a marvellously entertaining musical outfit dedicated to presenting the songs of Italian-American jazz singer and Las Vegas legend Louis Prima. Prima was seemingly driven to create a maximum of irreverent fun while maintaining a very high standard of musicianship, and that spirit is keenly on display tonight.
Vocalist Anthony Leppa and string maestro Julian Ferraretto discovered a mutual love of Prima’s music quite some time back and Leppa announces that Zooma Zooma is now in its 20th year! Although initially known as a big band leader and trumpeter, Prima saw the writing on the wall and moved to Vegas with a smaller band and female vocalist Keely Smith (and later Gia Maione). Tonight’s show represents this era of Prima’s work. Kylie Ferreira plays the deadpan Keely Smith role well, being a great foil for Leppa’s tomfoolery. Mario Marino on drums and Richard Coates on grand piano are well up to the complexity of Prima’s swing arrangements.
Prima’s style of arrangement first leaps to the fore with I’ve Got You Under My Skin. There are several other well-known songs in the set, including That Old Black Magic and I’m In The Mood For Love, but not as you’ve heard them done by anyone else. Perhaps I Want To Be Like You from Disney’s Jungle Book is a good example of Prima’s work at its finest.
Anthony Leppa plays it for laughs and gets them! There are plenty of Italians in the audience (many apparently from Campbelltown!) and the frequent banter between stage and audience has a particular good-humoured ethnicity. The inclusion of songs such as Angelina (“…the waitress at the pizzeria”) and Buena Sera helps to exaggerate the Italian flavour and I’m beginning to suspect where Joe Dolce found inspiration! Concluding with Just A Gigolo/I Ain’t Got Nobody has the audience cheering with delight.
Zooma Zooma have one more show this Fringe, so if you’re looking for some fun this is a good show to catch! Apparently they are also available for Italian weddings.
Zooma Zooma continues at Nexus Arts from 9pm until Tue 10 Mar.
Book at FringeTIX on 1300 621 255 or adelaidefringe.com.au. Click HERE to purchase your tickets.