Belle Benét captures the hearts of her audiences with a string of great standards, but there is far more to her performance than the songs.
She is a striking figure, whose every move, down to the delicate gestures with her fingers, and facial expressions, command attention. She slinks, she struts, she sashays around the stage, her burlesque side reflected in her figure hugging corset and high shoes. The visual aspects of her performance are calculated fit with her narrative and her songs.
A simple idea, an absent boyfriend named Bertie Basher, allows the introduction of a range of songs that vary as their relationship goes from love and sexual heat, to desertion, to tears, to his begging forgiveness, and her show of inner strength as she tells him “no”.
A few mistakes by the sound technician could not mar this performance, or detract from the audience’s enjoyment. Her choice of songs, almost all backed by great Big Band arrangements, conjured images of those great singers and bands of the 1930s and 40s. If she were transported through time she would fit in perfectly with the Dorsey, Goodman or other leading Orchestras of the era.
The show is filled with great numbers such as, Whatever Lola Wants, Minnie The Moocher, Black Coffee, Summertime, Makin Whoopee, Cry Me A River, Fever, Why Don’t you do Right, and more
Her superb voice, styling, and phrasing are ideal for the jazz and blues standards that form the major part of her performance, and she knows exactly how to get every last drop of meaning out of every song. Make sure you catch this performance.
Reviewed by Barry Lenny, Arts Editor, Glam Adelaide.
Venue: Ensalada, Rymill Park, Adelaide
Season: to 8th March 2013
Duration: 60 mins
Tickets: $35 at the door