Friday, 17 August 2012
Rhonda Burchmore: Cry Me A River, Aug 16, 2012 ***1/2
Rhonda Burchmore, Cry Me A River: The World of Julie London
Comedy Theatre, Aug 16 to 19, 2012
Reviewer: Kate Herbert
Full review after publication on Monday Aug 20.
Statuesque songstress, Rhonda Burchmore, would tower over petite, Hollywood siren, Julie London, but in her tribute show, Burchmore channels London’s music, her smoky voice and sultry presence.
The show, written by Burchmore and her director, Gary Young, threads the story of London’s life amongst her innumerable hit songs, as Burchmore narrates the rise to stardom of the girl who was discovered driving a Hollywood department store elevator.
Burchmore’s voice has a darker, fruitier quality and more vibrato than London’s lighter tone as she sings London’s memorable hits and does justice to her signature tune, that cool but emotive jazz classic, Cry Me A River.
Other great tunes include: Fly Me To The Moon, S’Wonderful, What A Difference a Day Makes, Blue Moon, You Know How I Feel and a feast of other sensual ballads and pert tunes from London’s enormous repertoire.
Burchmore chats with the audience in a relaxed way, then segues into song, accompanied by the coolest jazz band in town, The L.A. Combo, a tight ensemble lead by pianist and arranger, Ray Alldridge, and featuring plenty of searing brass, hot guitar, evocative double bass and percussion.
The show could be a little shorter and it could excise the occasional, unnecessary sexual innuendo and cheap gag, but this production is tribute not only to London, but also to sassy Rhonda and her unbelievably talented band.
By Kate Herbert