REVIEW: Rachel Tucker (Live at Zedel) ★★★★★
Rachel Tucker has become something of a stage superstar in recent years and fresh from another successful run in the West End production of Wicked has embarked on a UK solo tour
Rachel started the tour with a four night sold out run at the Crazy Coqs beneath the Brasserie Zedel and fans of the ultra talented songbird were treated to a real feast of fun, with a show, which offered both hilarity and heartbreak in equal measures from the versatile performer.
I attended the second night and was taken with the sheer breadth of material Rachel is able to perform.
After steaming into the opulent club with an up tempo and vibrant rendition of Bette Midler’s “Miss Otis Regrets”, followed by an equally uplifting version of “The Candy Man”, the singer took the audience through some much more emotive numbers, firstly with “Waving Through a Window” from Dear Evan Hanson and then a simply gorgeous version of “When Somebody Loved Me” from the Disney film Toy Story 2.
Tucker has an innate ability to convey strong emotion when she sings and so can have an audience in uncontrollable laughter one minute and sobbing the next.
She worked the room like a real pro, but as she started doing the cabaret circuit in Belfast at the age of just 9, she has obviously had plenty of practice.
With other act one highlights including a great jazz interpretation of “Where is Love” from Oliver and the standard “The Man that Got Away”, she left the audience in awe.
Act 2 was just as good if not better and for fans of Wicked was a real treat when two of Rachel Tucker’s former colleagues, Louise Dearman and Katie Rowely Jones, joined her onstage for a wonderful trio of “What’s Inside/The Negative” from the Broadway musical Waitress.
Tucker injected some real Diva style glamour into the second part of the show and impressed with Christina Aguliera’s “You Are Beautiful” and “She Used to be Mine” from Waitress before she performed a stonking version of “No Good Deed” from Wicked; cleverly interwoven with the piano accompaniment from “I’m not that Girl” by her virtuoso musical director Kris Rawlinson, which gave an added darkness to the song.
Other act two highlights included a sidesplitting dance routine to a song called “I Can Cook” and a duet with Louise Dearman, who joined Tucker again for a lovely mash up of “Kiss Today Goodbye” from A Chorus Line and Barbara Streisand’s “The Way We Were”.
After a very fitting encore of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” and then a lively rendition of Ed Sheeran’s “Castle on a Hill” the audience were left on a real high.
Funny, charismatic and with a truly remarkable vocal ability Rachel Tucker is the full package and puts on an really fabulous show.
The shows at the Brasserie Zedel are sold out, but you can catch Rachel Tucker when she takes off on tour in May, before she heads over to New York to play at the highly acclaimed 54 Below.
Reviewed by Nicky Sweetland
Rachel Tucker Tour Dates
13th May, MAC, Belfast
19th May, Gate Theatre, Cardiff
29th May, Gala Theatre, Durham
30th May, Grand Theatre, Lancaster
31st May, The Apex, Bury St Edmund’s
3rd June, Capitol Theatre, Horsham
5th, 6th, 7th June, Live At Zedel, London
9th & 10th June, Pizza Express Live, Birmingham