Shana Farr and Nathan Martin
(Crazy Coqs Room, May 15th.Review by Sebastian Scotney)
“I don’t even see them. They’re GOOD”. Among her acknowledgements at the end of Whistling Away the Dark, her tribute show to Julie Andrews at the Crazy Coqs, Shana Farr paid tribute to the serving staff. The venue team have progressively developed a confidence in making this astonishing room with its particular character work as a performance space. It was always going to happen. The management people at the top happen to be the most successful restaurateurs in London in the past thirty years, and this, their first venture for them into live entertainment has had the stamp of quality (and a knowledge of how to keep visitors/customers/audience happy) right from the start. Crazy Coqs is a room with real character, the decor is unforgettable, it is right in the heart of London, and, bit by bit, it is starting to feel established. The jazz industry had the good fortune to hear Kurt Elling at a private LJF lunch launch a there few weeks ago. So the word is getting out.
Missouri-born Shana Farr‘s Julie Andrews show brought an audience which absolutely loved the performance, and cheered it to the echo. Farr enjoyed the irony of performing it in our city with its (quote) “magical sidewalks”. I wasn’t completely convinced, but was pleased to be introduced to a couple of wistful, reflective, characterful yet out-of-the-way songs – Arthur Schwartz’s Once Upon a Long Ago from the film High Tor, and Bricusse/ Newley’s Crazy World from Victor/ Victoria. Shana Farr sings with an operatic soprano voice, has constructed a continuous show of twenty songs and delivers welter of statistics, but how could the audience resist the temptation to sing along in Feed The Birds and Spoonful of Sugar. They were having a great night, and they didn’t.
Shana Farr continues at Crazy Coqs till Saturday. The singers open mic and jam hosted by Harold Sanditen is on Thursdays late. Future attractions include stride pianist Judy Carmichael. WEBSITE.