Culture: Theatre

Beige Recommends: Lady Rizo At Soho Theatre

Lady Rizo

How to make the perfect Lady Riz-otto.

Take 2 tablespoons of Bette Midler, one ounce of Fanny Brice and a pinch of Sandra Bernhard.  Serve warm with a generous dollop of  Joplin and a fresh glass of Winehouse .

Lady Rizo, the saucer eyed, American, Jewish chanteuse, was the toast of the Edinburgh fringe last year and has just made her London début. The walls of the dark Soho cellar can barely contain the energy transmitted by this self proclaimed Diva as she unleashed a set of unexpected musical numbers to the adoring audience late last night.

Backed by a ‘solid as a rock’ trio, Miss Rizo sang a diverse repertoire including a few of her own songs which nestled amongst others by Dolly Parton, Blondie, Jimi Hendrix and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Her voice is powerful, soulful, soft and distinctive. Sometimes she reminded me of Nina Simone, occasionally of Streisand and at other times, surprisingly, of Anthony Hegarty.

What distinguishes Lady Rizo from the scores of other strong singers is her personality. She is glamorous, funny, instantly engaging and full of surprises. We never knew which way the show would turn, as it constantly changed direction. Sometimes she would sing a powerful gospel song, then a contemporary torch ballad, before getting down and dirty, shimmying and smooching with the band while they played an irresistible Cuban groove.

Lady Rizo

Lady Rizo has been performing her brand of sharp and sassy ‘Caburlesque’ in New York since 2004, but contrastingly grew up in a West coast hippie commune and related some funny stories about her life there as an outsider, raised by 5 earth mothers. This non-conformist upbringing explained Miss Rizo’s maverick personality and added to the appeal of her remarkable talent.

The strange and surprising mixture of ingredients which creates this startling performer is definitely a dish worth sampling and can be tasted at the Soho Theatre basement, where during the next few weeks Miss Rizo resides as, in her own unpredictable words,’ The Deacon of the dungeon’.

Shows until Sat 9 March.

Soho Theatre

Words: Martin Green

Jump to comments
Scroll Top