It was sadly fitting that Taya Rose opens with, and names her show after, a song by Lesley Gore, who passed away only a few days ago. In fact, most of the singers and song-writers Taya pays tribute to are long gone. This is a 15 year old girl, with a very old soul.
Taya is a born performer: she knows how to sing and play the uke; she knows how to work an audience; she knows how to do more with a song than just belt it out.
Interpreting numbers from You Are My Sunshine, to Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, to Hey Jude, she took us on a journey through her passion for older pop songs, showing an extraordinary knowledge of not just the numbers themselves, but their singers and/or songwriters.
She has a true, stage presence, a genuine warmth with her audience, and an obvious love for the music. Her humour is infectious, along with her humble confidence. It was great to see her tackle some of the more “racy” songs of the era, such as My Heart Belongs to Daddy and When I’m Cleaning Windows, and not just stick to the twee. She can handle these humorous numbers with aplomb, and it would be great to see her build that side of her repertoire.
The only weakness to the show was its lack of structure. A cabaret show needs a more specific theme, or story. This was really more of a mini-concert. If she takes up the suggestion of working with a director, she will have one super kick-arse show.
Taya finished her show with a self-written song, This Time which showed maturity and sophistication, both lyrically and musically. Let’s hope she continues developing as a song-writer, because she clearly has a lot to give in that creative arena.
Make no mistake: this is a young woman to watch. She says her ambition is to get into music theatre, with her dream role being Dolly Levi. I have no doubt she will do that, and probably sooner than she imagines. With further singing lessons and some solid direction, this girl is a star in the making. And that is not something that this reviewer says lightly.
If at all…
Go see her now, before you have to sell a kidney for a Broadway ticket.
Reviewed by Tracey Korsten
Rating out of 5: 4
Venue: La Boheme, 36 Grote Street, Adelaide
Season: Singing Gallery: 14 February 2015. then La Boheme: 18 & 25 February 2015
Duration: One hour
Bookings: Book through FringeTix online or at a FringeTix box office (booking fees apply)