Lillias White Sings Broadway – Crazy Coqs, London

Reviewer: Andrew Houghton

As part of their Americans In London series, cabaret venue Crazy Coqs presents Lillias White sings Broadway starring the Tony Award-winner herself, accompanied by the globally recognised Billy Stritch. Together, White and Stritch put together a delightful evening of entertaining stories and impressive vocals which celebrates White’s incredible career and finally marks her London debut.

White certainly still has ‘it’ as she delivers consistently stunning vocals throughout the concert. There is so much power and technique behind even the softest songs of the evening and she makes every melody her own with runs, riffs and vibrato which appear completely effortless. There is no question that White has her craft completely honed down, navigating tricky melodies, comedy songs and soothing ballads with such ease. The audience can relax knowing they’re in extremely safe hands.

What really brings the evening together, and cements it as a triumph, is White’s playful and charismatic nature. She pulls the microphone from its stand and takes on the audience with the confidence of a comedy professional, teasing those on the front row and mocking the English accent to much delight. A theatre veteran, she is so comfortable onstage which results in a delightfully personal and candid experience. Early on in her set, she cuts through the applause with the blunt statement “This is fun, except my feet hurt” and this authenticity completely wins the audience over.

The intimate concert is a comfortable 80 minutes in length and is thoughtfully planned out. Whilst the earlier songs are endearing and characterful, to create a strong rapport with her audience, White really brings out the big guns for the latter half of the show. Her showstopping rendition of I Am Changing from Dreamgirls; award-winning performance of Oldest Profession from The Life; and glorious revival of When You’re Good To Mama from her recent return to Broadway in Chicago; each eclipse one another as the highlight of the evening. Finally, an encore of Sondheim’s Somewhere leaves the concert on an impressive note, literally; re-affirming Lillias White’s status as a theatre legend.

If the success of this short concert series, and White’s delight at her London debut, is anything to go by then we can only hope to see more of her in the city soon. With youthful energy, White doesn’t show any signs of slowing down, nor should she – for the sake of audiences everywhere.

Runs until 23 April 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

A triumph

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The Reviews Hub - London

The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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