We go to the Edinburgh fringe to be entertained, have fun and hopefully find inspiration. Last night, New York’s remarkable cabaret diva Lady Rizo delivered the hat-trick. She has a remarkable voice (with a Grammy to prove it), an original sound with touches of Billie Holliday, Amy Winehouse, Etta James and Fiona Apple. She uses covers, originals and she’s very funny. First and foremost though, she’s a storyteller. She shares her journey from Princess Cruise Lines to marriage in Alaska to infidelity in New York City. The whole set, the story, is brilliantly put together. The theme is adult relationships. She raises difficult issues with such honesty we can’t help but feel deeply connected to her. She gets down to the bone and we love her for it. The more she reveals (physically and emotionally) the more we empathise. It is, at times, an uncomfortable journey, but so is life.
Musical accompaniment is provided on track and with live support from her songwriting partner Yair Evnine on cello and guitar. It’s very effective. The sound is huge one minute and hauntingly intimate the next.
The songs are knitted so tightly into the story they sound like they were written just for her. It’s an opus that speaks to all of us.
This was the first full standing ovation I’ve ever seen at the Fringe. I was left moved, uplifted and oh so grateful for the chance to experience Lady Rizo for myself. “Edinburgh,” she told us, “leaves me raw, ravaged, hoarse and broke”. Take it from me Lady Rizo – it’s worth it.