Musical Arrangements and direction: Dan Lipton
Reviewer: Christopher Owen
Judy Kuhn will not be known by as many people as one might imagine for a performer with such an extensive CV as hers. But audiences may find that they are probably be aware of her work without realising it: she was the musical voice of Disney’s Pocahontas singing Colours Of the Wind, and was Cosette in the Les Miserables 10th Anniversary concert at the Royal Albert Hall. And as befits someone whose reputation is not widely known, this evening of cabaret is by far the best introduction to herself she could give.
In the glorious setting of the Matcham Room, which on this occasion was buzzing with excitement far before the start of the show, Judy performed with an assured command of the highly intimate space, displaying her delectable charm in-between numbers and singing with her utterly gorgeous vibrato-laden vocals.
Her program included a wide range of songs from Leonard Cohen (she joked ‘do you guys even listen to him over here?’) to Randy Newman and Joni Mitchell, in all of which she brought out the meaning of the lyrics effortlessly. Even though she may have sung these songs hundreds if not thousands of times before, each one is like it is the first time she has told an audience that particular story and is performed with a refreshing honesty.
She skipped through the set with a joyous affection for her art and entertained with stories of how she met her husband, tales of their courtship and her career which give us a sweet understanding of what it’s been like to be her. (Don’t mention Metropolis though!)
Backed by a truly brilliant trio of piano, percussion and cellos, with gorgeous smoky arrangements from Musical Director Dan Lipton, this set has all the style you would find in a New York jazz venue and that is exactly what the Matcham room at the Hippodrome Casino needs, to firmly stake its claim as one of the hottest venues around.
If you have never seen Judy Kuhn before or been to the Matcham Room, then make this cabaret your first visit for both. A simply stunning evening in which Judy gives a lesson in concert performance and oozes effortless style which leaves the audience audibly begging for more. Faultless.
Runs until 13th October