Review: Lillias White Sings Broadway (Crazy Coqs, online)

With family staying I opted for this livestream to see Lillias White on screen in my home; and it was worth the wait.

Born in 1951, White is an actress and singer known for bringing many roles to life on the Broadway stage as well as in film and television. She’s accompanied here by Billy Stritch, composer, arranger and jazz man, who accompanied Liza Minnelli for many years and has also created a show in tribute to Mel Tormé.

This team are in the UK as part of Crazy Coqs Americans in London series, which continues until 19 May. White’s setlist mixes the familiar with less obvious choices (I haven’t heard “I’ve Gotta Crow” from Peter Pan in a cabaret set before). Her voice is full of melody and warmth, and sounds much younger than her years at times. This is eighty minutes well spent with a class act of musical theatre.

These arrangements are all smoky nightclub and powerful diva, and “Don’t Rain On My Parade” from Funny Girl certainly gave the requisite chills. White has been active in cabaret and concerts for years but this show marks her London debut. Better late than never, I say.

Lillias White Sings Broadway

“In the theatre, you can’t go back”, White notes as she and Stritch note the importance of “having a good time” before launching into a lively duet. Digressions, fluffs or giggles, this is live theatre with all its magic. On our sofa, a fine old time was had, especially enjoying the banter and some songs which were new to me (Cy Coleman’s “Those Hands” is a knockout).

An intimate, energetic concert well worth watching.

Lillias White Sings Broadway was at the Crazy Coqs on the 14, 16, 19, 21 & 23 April 2022. You can still book to watch this livestream recording by going here.

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