REVIEW: LA VOIX: LIVE LOUD & FABULOUS (Underbelly) ★★★
La Voix (Chris Dennis) is a classy act; a female impersonator in the mould of Danny La Rue, who uses her good singing voice and well-observed witty impressions to delight cabaret audiences. Her current show, “Live, Loud and Fabulous” is on the South Bank in the Spiegeltent and provides a fast paced, entertaining hour of comedy and music, with a supporting band of four.
I first saw La Voix at the Aylesbury Waterside Pantomime, where she has played for last three years as Dame and she gave us a glimpse of her Cabaret style at the GB Pantomime Awards in April 2018, so it was great to see her full show for one night only in London.
As she said, playing her show in the round with her bright red hair made her feel like a Jammy Dodger but how could she resist a gig on the South Bank; the NT or Festival Hall perhaps, but no it’s in a “shoddy erection”. La Voix has great stage presence and easily engages the audience; as she says she loves “the BLT community” and as she turns to survey them she says she feels like “a Cabaret version of Yo Sushi”. You get the idea of the style; it’s not politically correct, simply staged but she soon has the audience nibbling on her prawn star roll. The biggest laugh of the show was for her advice to the audience to act as if “Life is like a box of chocolates, it doesn’t last long if you are fat”.
Of course, it is her musical impressions that people go to see her for – showbiz divas and gay icons who she affectionately and effectively parodies. In the course of the seventy-minute show, she gives us Judy Garland (wrestling with her microphone cord), Liza Minelli (recreating her Cabaret routine with a chair), Cher (most of her is 73 years old today), Tina Turner (with a football between her thighs) and Shirley Bassey (I am what I am). They are funny parodies rather than strong impressions emphasising their mannerisms and affections to extreme, almost cruelly.
The show closes with a brilliant Bonnie Tyler audience participation of “Total Eclipse of the Heart” with the whole lot “turning around” on each chorus. Everyone joins in, laughing and singing along . They love La Voix and her iconic ironic impressions but I think this artiste has the talent to do much more than time allowed in this set. The resulting show is rather one dimensional and without the support of the dancers who backed her at the GB Pantomime awards or in her Blackpool Season, relies too heavily on a few overused mannerisms to parody the Divas.
Reviewed by Nick Wayne
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