by Patrick Langston
Plays that are funny, grim, sweaty, romantic, half-baked, sweet, sad…. For all the latest reviews visit our Fringe Festival Special site.
Ne Me Quitte Pas, Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert
BrelPiaf Productions, Mercury Lounge, Reviewed June 17
Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel both died before they reached 50, but their music makes it clear they each packed several lifetimes of emotional experience into their existences. Melanie Gall and Bremner Duthie render that music, and the experience that informed it, in arresting fashion in this toast to the two singers. Between sensitive renditions of signature tunes like Piaf’s La Vie en rose and Brel’s Amsterdam, they chat about the legendary French performers’ lives as well as their own (too much of the latter: another song would have been preferable). Gall’s interpretation of Piaf’s desperate, passionate style and Duthie’s depiction of Brel’s romantic, playful singing are a pleasure to hear. If you see the show, watch Gall reacting to Duthie’s singing: on opening night, she was so caught up by Amsterdam that it looked as though she was about to turn it into an unplanned duet.
• Fringe Festival Reviews: Vernus ages with grace; Grady learns from the animals, Ottawa Citizen, June 20, 2012
• Four reviews: Trashman’s Dilemma, Love Bug Louie in a Blessing from the Cursed, In Waves, Alien Predator The Musical, Ottawa Citizen, June 17, 2012