Stunning voice, polished performance
REVIEW: Songs to Make you Smile delivers
exactly what it says on the tin.
It is a gentle and old-fashioned night of musical cabaret
animated by a passion for these sweet and whimsical vintage
British diva Lili la Scala takes us through her hand-picked
selection of lovely songs by everyone from Gracie Fields to Cole
Porter and George Formby to Irving Berlin. Highlights includes a
Cole Porter song about an oyster's adventures in high society and a
Gracie Fields song about two sheep in love.
Each song is brought to life by la Scala's stunning singing
voice and polished performance. La Scala is a festival regular and
it is lovely to see her graduate to her own cabaret show, which she
has successfully toured Europe over the last few years.
Lili la Scala's diva persona is haughty, posh and slightly
bossy, but ever so loveable. She banters with pianist Richard
Healey and the audience between songs, adding just enough sass to
give this gentle selection of songs a little bit of edge. There are
little moments of comedy as she struggles to remain elegant while
mounting a piano or reclining on a chaise longue wheeled in for her
She also talks about how much the songs mean to her, including
how she found the vintage sheet music for one number after rifling
through an Invercargill antiques store. She has clearly gone the
extra mile to track down these obscure, but delightful, songs from
a bygone age. They are curated with love, delivered with charm and
sung with skill.
Songs to Make you Smile is perfect for an older audience perhaps
turned off by the edgier cabaret and burlesque on offer at the
World Buskers Festival. It shows the range on offer by the
festival, catering for everyone from very young children on the
kid's pitch in Hagley Park to the vintage charms of this show.
It's a simple feelgood formula - great voice, lovely songs and
amusing banter. What's not to like?
Every night at 5.30pm at Christ's College
Songs to Make you Smile
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