Lorna Dallas - Preview
I was lucky enough to see Lorna Dallas in cabaret with her show, Stages, earlier this year. Unfortunately it was, at the time, a one-off performance but I am delighted that there are now two further opportunities to see her, once again, at the Crazy Coqs at Zedel on Tuesday 29 October and Tuesday 5 November, both at 7 p.m. .She remains a must-see performer, so if you missed her master-class show last time, don’t make the same mistake twice! Just for the record, and if you needed any more encouragement, below is my 5-star review from last time!
Lorna Dallas – Stages review
Lorna Dallas is the epitome of a true Broadway and West End star. As she shimmered into the Art Deco-inspired elegance of the Crazy Coqs at Zedel, she was at home. With an audience clearly made up of dedicated fans, a few Dallas virgins, and, in the front row, Christopher Biggins, Ms Dallas was away taking us on a musical romp through aspects of her fulsome and wonderfully successful career.
Stages is effectively part two of her 2017 show, Home Again, which was her return to the stage after a 20 year hiatus. The stages in the title refer to those theatres and nightclubs where she performed, having started out in a small town in Southern Illinois and reaching the heights of Broadway and the West End. Devised by her two long time collaborators, musical director Christopher Denny and director Barry Kleinbort, the show is classic cabaret – great stories, name drops, and a stunning voice, and, without doubt, Lorna Dallas is the quintessential exemplar of the genre.
With a 20-strong playlist, Dallas took us through some classic Irving Berlin with There No Business Like Showbusiness, Sondheim, Kander and Ebb, Jerome Kern and Cole Porter. She also gossiped about working with lyricist Sammy Cahn in London who dubbed her Priscilla Perfect before giving a superb rendition of Teach Me Tonight. She also sang Stranger in Paradise in three styles, recounting how she was performing in Kismet at the Shaftesbury by night, then dashing off to the Savoy to do late-night cabaret, whilst simultaneously for two weeks flying to Germany by day to record a TV special. And yes, she sang it in German!
There was also a great story about turning down Anna in the King and I on Broadway with Yul Brenner – love got in the way and she happily married an Englishman instead! And of course, there was the story about the late Queen Mother, but enough.
The stories all make up the perfect cabaret performance but above all Ms Dallas has the most exquisite soprano voice which she uses with dexterous fluidity through this captivating and heart-warming performance. She is the consummate, totally-engaging professional and it was a joy and privilege to be present for the ultimate master class in the art of stylish cabaret. A must-see when next in London!