Culture: Theatre

Beige Recommends: Lee Lessack At The Crazy Coqs

Lee Lessack

Jetting in from Orlando, Los Angeles based crooner Lee Lessack stepped onto the stage last night to present a collection of hand chosen songs, reflecting his artistic journey from New York to Paris via London.

Handsomely dressed in a sharp black suit, Mr Lessack began singing songs relating to his life as a fledgling cabaret performer in Manhattan, the highlight being a moving version of Being Alive, the anthemic closing number from Sondheim’s urban masterpiece Company, which he generously premièred for us at Crazy Coqs.

When I met Lee prior to the show, I asked him the, ‘almost impossible to answer’ question “ Who is your favourite composer?”. Surprisingly, he immediately answered, Johnny Mercer.

During the next section of the show, he paid tribute to Mercer, asking the audience if they remembered where they were when they first heard his sublime composition Moon River. His rapport with the room was informal, yet informative. His interpretations of three Mercer songs, Pineapple Pete, Out of this World and Too Marvellous for Words, displayed Lessack’s ability to deftly move from novel comedy to romantic longing and then onto lyrical dexterity, with the relaxed ease of a seasoned professional.

During the final section of the journey, we were transported to Paris as Lessack passionately performed chansons from his ‘ Chanteur’ album. Gilbert Becaud and Charles Aznavour were prominent, as the show became dedicated to the frequently overlooked genius of French songwriting.

Although, he chose songs by Leiber and Stoller, Sondheim and Mercer, Mr Lessack, refreshingly looked beyond ‘The Great American Songbook’ to present work by both contemporary and European composers. He is relaxed performer with a clear strong voice and the laid back charm, wit and warmth of a fine west coast crooner. A class act indeed.

Lee Lessack is at the Crazy Coqs Theatre, shows until Saturday 11 May.

Brasserie Zedel
20 Sherwood Street
London W1F 7ED

Words: Martin Green

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