Christine Pedi – Great Dames continues at Crazy Coqs, London until 24 October.
Star rating: four stars ★ ★ ★ ★ ✩
Billed as a Broadway diva, Christine Pedi certainly lives up to that title as she makes her debut at the Crazy Coqs.
She is best known as a renowned impressionist due to her long association with the satirical Forbidden Broadway. In her cabaret act she pays homage to and celebrates the great ladies of the stage, screen and beyond. Her patter is presented with comic flair, warm appreciation and plenty of wicked wit.
The choice of musical numbers (under the musical direction of Nathan Martin) are a delicious mixture – some like ‘Funny Girl’ and ‘The Boy Next Door’ are delivered straight but with her own interpretation. Paying tribute to Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Pedi tackles the tongue twisting ‘If You Hadn’t But You Did’ with its intricate word play. Other songs are witty parodies full of outrageous impersonations.
Ethel Merman gets to open the show with ‘There’s No Divas Like Old Divas’ while Patti LuPone, who always wanted to play My Fair Lady, gets her wish as she delivers an over the top version of ‘Just You Wait’.
There is a hilarious spoof on Anna Karenina as well as the perpetual virginity of ‘Darling Doris Day’.
The show is full of highlights with Liza Minnelli singing songs from the latest musical by her best friends Benny Kander and Björn Ebb – a wonderful mishmash of Abba songs sung in the style of the great American writing team. This is topped by Streisand, wishing to celebrate Britain’s great wealth of musical creations, as she launches into ‘I’ve Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts’.
Pedi’s closing number is a tour de force as she presents 13 leading ladies, each singing something from Les Misérables. This is worth the price of the ticket alone.