Review: Gayle Tufts ‘Love’

Gayle Tufts ‘Love!’

at The Tipi am Kanzleramt.

 

(pic: Jan Wirdeier)

Gayle Tufts’ new show is all about love in its many, many forms. The titular opening song makes this unequivocal case from the very start:

“Love – the reason that I wake up every day

 Love – the reason that a young man knows he’s gay

 Love – it’s here inside my heart

 It’s a place to start”

 

The show is also about this American-born entertainer’s love for her adopted country of Germany – its traditions, foibles, hang-ups, men and, of course, its leader.

In true Weimar tradition, the powerful are never too big to be made fun of from a cabaret stage, and Frau Merkel is no exception. A hilarious re-working of the Carly Rae Jepson hit ‘Call Me, Maybe’ sees the Bundeskanzlerin pleading with the world to love her and also nicely references the alleged phone-tapping activities of the US secret services.

 

Accompanied on the piano by the magnificent Marian Lux and the surprisingly game-for-it string trio ‘Strings de Lux’  the combination of re-imagined covers and original songs come thick and fast. A stand-out moment of the first half being the very beautiful “The One That Got Away”, especially written for the show by Tufts and Lux.

(pic: Jan Wirdeier)

In preparing for the show, Gayle Tufts asked her followers on social media to suggest their favourite love songs and was, unsurprisingly, deluged with offerings of heartbreak and woe! The 11-song ‘Break-up Medley’ that closes the first half is a hilarious journey through the work of  Adele, Elton John, Prince and Dolly Parton. Finally, someone gets it – ‘I Will Always Love You’ is not a cutesy love song by any stretch of the imagination but a tale of utter despair.

The second half opens with Ms.Tufts dressed as a bee. Why? “because I fucking want to”  and there you have it! A unique performer in her own right, it doesn’t take a leap of the imagination to see the influences of the likes of Bette Midler at work here – and there’s nothing wrong with that!

The ‘love’ theme continues with the German adoration of both football and Schlager music on Saturday night TV shows, and then brings us back into more traditional territory of the songs of Irving Berlin.

(pic: Jan Wirdeier)

This show is a masterclass in ‘Denglish’ – stories starting in German end in English and vice versa. The two languages flip-flop throughout and even with the shakiest grasp on either, the audience is never left wondering what is going on.

 

A first-night standing ovation at the Tipi and worthy of continued packed houses.

 

 

Tipi am Kanzleramt

8 April to 4th March 2014

Tuesday to Saturday 20:00 (entry from 18:30)

Sunday 19:00 ( entry from 17:30)

Tickets: €20.80 to €34.50

030 39 06 65 50

www.tipi-am-kanzleramt.de

www.gayle-tufts.de

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