Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cabaret: 'Chloë Hart - Redesign'

I didn't hesitate in booking a ticket right away when I found out Chloe was organising another cabaret. I had enjoyed the last one immensely and this time it would be even better because I had become better acquainted with the "regular" attendees to these sorts of events (promotion: Twitter is great for meeting people with similar interests as well as for finding out about smaller scale cabarets you might wish to attend) and therefore I would have people to chat with at interval rather than being that loner in the corner.

Date: Sunday 22nd July 2012
Location: Union Theatre, London
Featuring: Lucy May Barker, Gina Beck, Liam Doyle, Chloe Hart (surprise!), Charlotte Scott, Thomas Sutcliffe, Rebecca Trehearn

Charlotte Scott and Chloe Hart. Photo: Fonsaca Malyan-Brooker
I was reading the diary entry I had written right after this cabaret and it seemed to be mostly about what people were wearing (there seemed to be a strange fascination when it came to shoes...) but since Fonsaca's lovely photography provides a taste of that aspect of the night, I'll talk about the songs instead. Don't take any of this as a review though: wrote this mainly for all the people who did not have the chance to attend.

Now, Chloe was supported by Charlotte and Rebecca in the opening number, I'm A Star. I thought it sounded perfect. Chloe was not happy, however, because she had messed up some of the lyrics (I bet no one noticed!) and asking we would not put that performance on YouTube. She added another rendition of the same song at the start of Act 2. The funniest thing was that by the time we got to the start of the second act, I had forgotten about Chloe's promise to perform that first song later on and I wondered why the song sounded freshly familiar. For anyone who noticed me having a quiet laugh halfway through: that was why. Stunning harmonies and Chloe's got such a gorgeous, clear voice.

We heard several Kooman and Dimond songs. Chloe's a massive fan of theirs. "They deserve to be more famous," she says and readily shares her enthusiasm for their compositions. In general, Chloe tends to go for a lot of new writing - she says she is a bit of a geek that way - so many of the songs were unfamiliar to me. However, some of the songs I had most certainly heard in cabarets before (what would a Chloe cabaret be without her signature song: Stagey and Proud?) but I just did not know the titles or the composers. That goes for Chloe and Thomas's The Temp and the Receptionist (such a great song) and the "die, die, die" song Lucy sang (sounds very obscure but anyone who has heard the song will know what I am on about - that's the section of the track that stays with you!). To comment on the latter: it really made me realise what a difference the singer can make. I have heard Jacqueline Hughes sing the same song in the past. A brilliant, humorous performance in both insteances but just very different in terms of the voice. Liam Doyle sang a song from the Catch Me If You Can musical. I think that was the first time I heard a song from that show. I might need to go away and have a proper listen.

Charlotte sang Scott Alan's beloved Never Neverland. You hear that song at just about every cabaret: it's such a beautiful song people want to perform it and audiences are always happy to hear it. That I may not have been able to find a recording of on the generally omniscient YouTube but I just discovered this from Chloe's previous cabaret. I think Charlotte does an incredible job of this Cheno song, hence the sharing:

Because Gina Beck ("My next guest doesn't need an introduction") was there, how could they not sing For Good? Gina also performed a song called My Prince by Alexander S Bermange. Rather Glinda-y that one.

Gina Beck and Chloe Hart singing For Good.
Photo: Fonsaca Malyan-Brooker
Gina Beck singing My Prince.
Photo: Fonsaca Malyan-Brooker

And look, I found Gina's rendition of the song. Just listen to the lyrics (not that you can actually miss the beautiful voice):


And this is what we were treated with to finish off:

I love Smash (the TV series about making a Marilyn Monroe musical in case someone's been living under a rock) and I love Chess so I was very content to have experienced both of these songs live. I was surprised by how deep and powerful Rebecca's voice was. This video doesn't really do it justice but live it was incredible to listen to, especially the belt in Let Me Be Your Star and when she performed With You from the musical Ghost in which she currently understudies the female lead. I have much love for the video clip above because it captures some of the lovely atmosphere of an intimate musical theatre cabaret. It's informal (I'm sure we all noticed Liam checking the lyrics on his phone) and both the performers and the audience get to have a bit of a laugh. I have absolutely fallen in love with these kinds of events. One thing on my life list: to perform solo in a cabaret like this. 

If anyone is interested in hearing additional tracks from the cabaret (this one and also Chloe's first one), you can find more video footage on Chloe's own YouTube channel:
And Rukaya's uploaded some stuff from this cabaret too including a great capture of Chloe and Gina singing For Good 

And thanks again to Fonsaca for letting me use her photos for this :)