‘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
The latest Edinburgh Fringe cabaret reviews
A live entertainment venue and late night bar at the Hippodrome Casino, Leicester Square. Today it's somewhere that references the Hippodrome's long, often illustrious past, with performances taking in a varied selection of live music, magic, cabaret, comedy theatre and tribute acts. Expect, then, nights including Mlss Polly Rae's Soho Burlesque Club, Elvis in Vegas, male vocalists The 4Tunes and regular shows from Ratpack in Vegas - including their popular Christmas special. Many evenings are bookable with a pre-theatre meal, too. Keep an eye out for charity fundraising nights, sports screenings, musical theatre and performances from emerging artists and established stars, too.