Even if you're not familiar with the name Christine Pedi, I can guarantee you will have come across her malleable voice in one of its many disguises. Her cabaret act, in the gorgeous environment of the Crazy Coq's Cabaret, offers a warm and sensitive yet consistently hilarious insight into her relationship with some of the biggest divas from stage and screen. Primarily known for her spot-on impressions, developed through years of working with the genius team of Forbidden Broadway, she brings the vocal stylings of Patti LuPone, Liza Minnelli, Barbra Streisand and many more to a well chosen and consistently surprising repertoire that offers first-class cabaret entertainment.
Pedi began the evening by commenting that we Brits could do with a laugh, and boy did she deliver. As a performer who spends much time in the guise of other people, it was refreshing to hear a mix of numbers where she performed as herself, bringing tender moments and dedications to her mother, her favourite diva, alongside the louder set pieces that vamped on Barbra Streisand’s overt sincerity and sped through Liza's Kander and Ebb style Mamma Mia! Medley.
Accompanied by the wonderful Nathan Martin on keys, the tone oscillates effectively between softer arrangements of familiar songs such as “Spoonful of Sugar” and “When You're Good to Mama” to well-acted vulnerable moments that offer multiple shades of her larger than life character. Fans of her YouTube videos, which include the always funny “Sh*t Liza Says” amongst many others, will not be disappointed by the programme, which ends with one of her genius mash ups that imagines how multiple performers from Angela Lansbury, Elaine Stritch and Cher would sound in hit musical Les Miserables.
There say that imitation is the greatest form of flattery, but in Pedi's hands it also becomes the greatest form of entertainment. Whilst there many be a number of similar acts doing the rounds, Pedi is the original and the finest when it comes to presenting these in a fulfilling cabaret format. Her expressive manner, genuine patter and expert vocal delivery has the audiences gasping for breath and jumping to their feet. A first rate performer and genuine Broadway personality – Pedi's unique gift will appeal to fans of Broadway both young and old, and is sure to leave you with a smile on your face. A much needed antidote to these uncertain times.
Great Dames runs at the Crazy Coqs Cabaret in Piccadilly from 12-16 July 2016.