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Red Hot Mama: A Sophie Tucker Cabaret

Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Disappointing, Funny, Ambitious
68
Critics
87
3 reviews
Members
68
22 reviews
 

Soho Playhouse presents Melanie Gall in a one-woman bio-show about vaudeville legend Sophie Tucker.

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Gall takes the stage as Tucker, who recaps her rise through early 20th century vaudeville, cabaret, and Hollywood. The cabaret format allows Gall to fully inhabit the star, relating the indignities of being forced to perform in blackface and getting fired for being plus-size, telling jokes that would make Joan Rivers blush, and singing ‘20s standards and her signature bawdy love songs.

 

Cast & Creatives (4)


Reviews (25)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
87
Avg Score

80
Edmonton Journal

for a previous production "Gall, in eye-catching headdress and plunging neckline, mixes songs with risque jokes that likely would have appealed to a woman known for her bawdy, self-deprecating sense of humor…There is, as there always is in biographical shows, a touch of sadness behind the success. The woman nicknamed 'The Last of the Red Hot Mamas' couldn’t find love. But with Gall’s exuberant characterization of Tucker, nobody stays down for long." Full Review

95
CBC.ca

for a previous production "Melanie Gall and her powerfully emotive, technically dazzling voice make this one-woman musical ‘bio-play’ an unforgettable delight…Writer-director Erik de Waal keeps the staging minimal and opts for pre-recorded accompaniment. These may be economical choices, or choices recognizing that once Gall starts singing, nothing else matters. We don’t get the end of Tucker’s life story, but that doesn’t matter either. She is still gloriously, vibrantly alive in Gall’s performance." Full Review

85
Edmonton Sun

for a previous production "Tucker sang with a powerful, earthy contralto and loaded her bawdy performances with innuendo. As in her Piaf show, Gall does not sing like the performer but her voice is as commanding as anything Tucker delivered…DeWaal is a dramatic storyteller and his sure hand is obvious throughout as he peppers Gall's monologue with telling anecdotes…Gall, arms provocatively on her hips, gives her considerable all to this fascinating story of a show business original." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
68
Avg Score

71
Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want a light night out. Melanie sings well (not sure how Sophie sang so...) but the show could use more book.. or direction.

Don't see it if you want to be blown away. 1 performer, 1 costume, 1 act, 1 position on stage, no set.

25
Indulgent, Banal, Disappointing

See it if If you want to buy this emerging actress's music CD.

Don't see it if Actress is completely miscast - a young college student playing someone who was supposed to be a raunchy older woman. Total misfire.

67
Disappointing, Slow, Uneven

See it if Can't think of a Reason!?!

Don't see it if You want a more Authentic Sophie!

79
Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if Not the greatest voice, not the greatest timing on jokes BUT if you go to shows to be entertained then you should see this before it closes!

Don't see it if If you prefer big time b'way stars & staging or dislike small, intimate venues then you should stay uptown

67
Ambitious, Raunchy, Great singing

See it if You enjoy one woman cabaret acts, with a phenomenal singer.

Don't see it if The performer's raunchy jokes fell super flat, she didn't have the umph to back them up so the moments between the songs were rough.

65
Disappointing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to se a 1 hour live singing show

Don't see it if you expect some to come anyway near Bette Midler version of sofie tucker

50
Disappointing, Amateurish

See it if Sophie Tucker's life story told thru anecdotes & song. Melanie Gall tried hard, but failed to channel Ms. Tucker's spunk & raunchiness.

Don't see it if You don't like 1-person shows. Ms. Gall's tame demeanor was wrong for the material; her delivery of raunchy material was uncomfortable.

68
Disappointing

See it if you have no knowledge of Sophie Tucker. Miss Gall is charming with a pleasant voice, but out of her element as a red hot mama. A misfire.

Don't see it if you remember Sophie. The songs are the same but sung by an opera-trained soprano. An angel-faced ingenue can't pull off those jokes.

69
Disappointing

See it if you like one woman cabaret type shows...

Don't see it if you love hearing a great Soph & Ernie joke... The performer was quite charming and sweet, but she was missing that "oomph" that Sophie had..

60
Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you liked Sophie Tucker. Entertaining. Some singing was very good.. some off key. Not enough story about Sophie. 1 or 2 sentences into song

Don't see it if don't like one woman show and also the show was just under an hour which was disappointing.

Also There should have been more than 1 or 2 sentence lead in to each song.... Read more Read less

77
Funny, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if you like the music of Sophie Tucker's era and would like to know more about the lady herself. Melanie Gall has a powerful voice.

Don't see it if you are looking for the kind of connection between performer and audience that should exist in this kind of a cabaret act. More story needed

77
Funny, Entertaining, Great singing, Sweet, Charming.

See it if You would be interested in learning a bit about Sophie Tucker' life, hearing her music, and enjoying her sense if humor.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate music and stories about people from earlier generations.

70
Cute, 20s style raunchy

See it if you're nostalgic for the 20s and want to watch a talented singer having a lot of fun.

Don't see it if you'd like to be drawn in by the story; while Sophie's story is told we don't get enough detail to really feel it.

70
Dated, Great singing, Nostalgic, Bland

See it if you'd enjoy a very brief (1 hour) cabaret performance with canned music, a charming, excellent singer & a superficial story

Don't see it if you're not into great old songs & very dated, corny old bawdy jokes; need a substantial show to be entertained

Also A live pianist would've improved this show tremendously.

82
Delightful, Entertaining

See it if you like a cabaret of old well know songs. Very engaging and charmingly performed. I wanted more. The show should be half hour longer.

Don't see it if you don't like one-women shows. Or you don't like the old classics. Or you like a short show.

92
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy an entertaining and clever show. The show leaves you with a desire for more Melanie Gall. She is a trouper and delightful.

Don't see it if if you are offended by adult entertainment.

70
Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you don't know who Sophie Tucker is. you like one woman shows with a good singer.

Don't see it if know who Sophie Tucker really is. you are looking for a big show.

Also Gall has a lovely voice but not well matched with Sophie Tucker. None ... Read more Read less

50
Funny, Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched, Fluffy

See it if You get a comp ticket

Don't see it if You have to pay

72
Nostalgic, Falls short, Luke-warm mama

See it if you like one-woman shows; if you want to hear a pleasant voice; if you like Sophie Tucker but don't require a spot on recreation.

Don't see it if you don't like one-person shows; you are expecting a Bette Midler quality rendition and recreation of Tucker's brassy and raunchy style.

Also I really wanted to like this more: Melanie Gall has a lovely voice--bu... Read more Read less

96
Funny, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to hear some great singing You want to laugh and be entertained.

Don't see it if You want a serious drama You want a full musical with a huge cast. You don't like off color humor. Sex jokes bother you.

53
Banal, Overrated, Dated, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if You like the oldies, and an intimate setting appeals to you, and A one woman show interspersed with raunchy jokes or anecdotes.

Don't see it if You expect the selection of songs to be modern. It's old style singing and staging. Except for one,none of the songs were familiar to me.

Also I wish she would dump the anecdotes. The jokes fell flat. She has a gr... Read more Read less

82
Entertaining

See it if You like music

Don't see it if You hate loud characters