“What good is sitting alone in your room? Come hear the music play. Life is a cabaret, old chum. Come to the cabaret.”
Jack McCann devoted his fabulous performance at The Crazy Coqs not to Liza Minelli but to her mother, Judy Garland.
Jack sings (mostly) Judy was an evening that reminds you just how life enhancing cabaret can be, writes Christopher Walker.
The Crazy Coqs is an intimate live performance venue within Brasserie Zedel, restaurant right next to Piccadilly Circus.
In consequence the underground complex is packed, and the service a little brusque.
It feels like half of London’s theatre goers are coming and going at the same time, and trying to get a drink.
The CC showcases cabaret, jazz, and comedy in a remarkably dazzling Art Deco venue.
There are two shows every night, night after night.
Sadly this means you can’t linger at your table.
Jack McCann, himself in a somewhat art deco outfit, took us on a journey through Garland’s back catalogue – singing some of her greatest hits, whilst telling stories of her life and loves, family, friends, and loss.
But the show also gave us quite a few glimpses into Jack’s own life, which fortunately seems to have been a much happier affair, if still with its fair share of challenges.
A jazz trio provided excellent accompaniment, and Jack was joined on stage by musical superstar Janie Dee of Carousel fame.
Janie very much stole the show in the Menier’s Boy Friend, but she had stronger competition with Jack McCann.
Jack has a wonderfully strong voice and there were several highlights.
The Man that Got Away from A Star is Born was very well delivered, with Jack spitting out the words “good riddance.”
And My Funny Valentine led to quite a few couples holding hands.
Danny Boy was Jack’s heartfelt tribute to his Ulster roots and to his own father.
A warm intimate evening. “Come to the Cabaret” sounds like very good advice.
Pictured: Jack McCann at The Crazy Coqs. Picture: Charles Flint