See it if you love French cabaret music. The singing is marvelous. And there are some charming stories about Piaf, Brel and the performer.
Don't see it if you expect to see a play. This is a recital with commentary. There is no attempt to inhabit either of the titular characters.
See it if you enjoy the music of Piaf and Brel, and don't mind that it's all in French.; you like a bit of history of the performers thrown in.
Don't see it if you dislike French chanteuse.
"Despite the bittersweet quality of most of the songs, Gall employs a Panglossian perspective and persists with bright and cheerful enthusiasm. Her vocal tone matches her mood with bright colors and a broad range...It would be even more compelling, then, if the show also included live accompaniment...All told, Gall performs this beautiful songbook with a bel canto vocal style and lovely tone."
"Gall’s enthusiasm for 'keeping the old music alive' is infectious as she contextualizes each number with relevant background information. Her descriptions are exceedingly visual, evoking the historic situations in our mind’s eye...Trained in opera, Gall’s vocal range, power, and control are astonishing, and her emotional expressiveness is affecting...'Piaf and Brel' is a beautiful tribute to its namesake musical icons, presented with mastery and feeling."
"In 'Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert,' Gall does a fantastic job of capturing the live raw passion of these two legendary singers, showing her own huge personality and flair in the process. She engages her audience well, getting them to sing along to 'Je Ne Regrette Rien' at the end, and creates a wonderful atmosphere throughout. This was a very lively performance from a woman with flair and character. Gall is a born performer, a real star in the making."
"Gall does a great job in giving us a very abbreviated history of their lives and of course singing in style some of their classic songs…Melanie Gall in the short time available to her has a great show…Both Piaf and Brel are singers whom many people may think they know only a few songs from (if any), but once you hear them, you realise that you know so many more than you think…A perfect show for an afternoon away from it all."
"Gall intersperses the songs with engaging anecdotes about her subject’s careers and her own personal experiences…Not surprisingly, Gall generally does better in her treatment of Piaf’s songs than with Brel’s. The exception is with Brel’s ‘Amsterdam’ which she delivered in both English and French. Piaf herself recorded the song; its compelling melancholic tone may have been better suited to her voice."