To launch its spring programme, Piccadilly cabaret room Live at Zédel gave us a taster of seven very different acts, drolly introduced by French comic/compere Marcel Lucont, who is very funny indeed, rather naughty, and will be well worth seeing during Zedel’s French Fest in March.
From a musical theatre point of view the highlight was Laura Tebbutt’s beautiful rendering of the opening number from the first musical to be specially commissioned for Live at Zédel – After You (music by Alex Parker, lyrics by his longtime friend and collaborator Katie Lam).
This is a two-hander about falling in love, the price of conventional success and the things we sometimes have to keep to ourselves. It will receive its world premiere on 13 April and plays for 16 performances.
Adam Kay’s dip into Tom Lehrer, My Fair Ladies’ ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’, a bit of ethereal jazz from Alice Zawadzki (with strong piano by Jamie Safir), a bit of Tony Bennett from Pete Horsfall, the larger-than-life Miss Hope Springs and an exciting finale from indie rocker Shingai Shoniwa demonstrated the breadth of entertainment available at least twice a day at Live at Zédel.
A three-week May residency from cabaret great Maria Friedman, four chances to see Anne Reid’s A Night At the Pictures, and visits from Ria Jones, who stood in so brilliantly for an unwell Glenn Close in Sunset Boulevard, Anna-Jane Casey and Evita star Madalena Alberto will all be on the agenda for cabaret lovers – and that’s just skimming the surface.
There are more than 200 acts to choose from whether your taste is X Factor winner Matt Cardle or a blast from the past like Fenella Fielding who turns 90 this year.
Plenty of jazz, bags of comedy, even the London Philharmonia Orchestra in Zedel’s hugely popular art deco restaurant, plenty of French ‘ooh-la-la’ – it’s quite a package assembled by new artistic director James Albrecht. Something for everybody.