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Wednesday, 6 April 2022

REVIEW: Lorna Dallas’ Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days at the Crazy Coqs

Lorna Dallas returns to the intimate cabaret room Crazy Coq, just off Piccadilly Circus for two nights as part of their American in London series this month. She calls this set Glamorous Nights and Rainy Days and it is a collection of songs from her past prompted by a lockdown cataloguing of memorabilia from her career. When I previously saw her at the same venue in March 2019 in her set called Stages, I was blown away by her charm, delightful reminiscences, and beautiful voice. Judging by the crowd for her first night back she has a loyal and appreciative fan base of knowledgeable aficionados including the pianist Bobby Crush. 

She still delivers each song with precision, perfect diction and a soaring voice with a wide range that is extraordinary to hear. Her short links slickly explain the reason the song is included and occasionally set the scene but there is a pervading melancholy air to the selection perhaps reflecting the past few years and I missed the more upbeat songs of my first visit which had included "There's no business-like show business”, “Stranger in Paradise", "Hello, young lovers" and "If all the world's a stage". 

Thursday, 7 March 2019

REVIEW: Lorna Dallas at the Crazy Coqs

Lorna Dallas is a West End star who having taken 20 years away from the limelight some may not recognise but in this ninety minute cabaret she gives us every reason to rediscover her and enjoy her fabulous soprano voice and delightful story telling. Her song choices, arrangements and perfect delivery are an absolute joy.

She explains that when she met the love of her life Gary Brown, she turned down playing Anna opposite Yul Brynner on Broadway in the 1982 revival of a King and I to be with him. She recently performed in Cabaret a set called Home Again, and this new show Stages is really Home Again 2. It is a wonderful collection of songs by brilliant lyricists and composers including Irving Berlin, Kander and Ebb, Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Sammy Cahn, Ivor Novello , Anthony Newley and Rogers and Hammerstein II. But each is given an emotional context by the reminiscences from the different stages of her home life and from Show Business. She sets the tone for the evening with a wonderful version of "There's no business like show business" where she shows off her excellent phrasing, delivery and diction. 

She begins her life story with her sister Sissy and her own desire to be a singer against the wishes of her parents with "All I need (is one good break)". Her break came in a Coca Cola sponsored national talent competition which she won at the age of 17 and then went on tour with the Belles of Indiana to Iceland , Greenland and all places North. In tribute to her sister she performs "Blues in the night".
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