‘This moment is still happening,’ Lady Rizo says as she gazes – and keeps gazing – into the eyes of an audience member. It sure is. Lady Rizo’s moment, at least in the UK, began this time last year, when the New York-based performer’s Edinburgh debut instantly marked her out as a cabaret superstar: big lungs, big laughs, big love, big ideas. She won the inaugural TO&ST award for Edinburgh cabaret and has since played a three-week run in London and toured the country. Yet where last year’s set began with a rendition of ‘If I Were Your Woman’ that left no sock in the house un-knocked-off, Lady Rizo enters here with a sinuous and dreamy take on ‘Bali Ha’i’ from ‘South Pacific’ – an aptly incantatory opening to a show with as much mischief and heart as last year’s but a pronounced streak of wise sadness too. Structured around the familiar template – hysterical oral business with flowers and gloves, a long-suffering assistant, an audience-assisted costume change behind a screen – the numbers are largely new, notably including a lovely ‘Love for Sale’, a medley of the Pixies’ ‘Where Is My Mind?’ and ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’, and a brilliant reclamation of Jamie Foxx’s awful ‘Blame It (On the Alcohol)’. Here she is, your special island. Come to Lady Rizo.
If you like the sound of this, try:
‘Dusty Limits: Psycho’, another stellar act who has moved from last year’s exuberance into a more melancholic register without sacrificing showmanship or entertainment value.
For more from Ben Walters in Edinburgh, follow him @not_television