Red Hot Mama: A Sophie Tucker Cabaret NYC Reviews and Tickets
Entertaining, Great singing, Disappointing, Funny, Fluffy
About the Show
Soho Playhouse presents Melanie Gall in a one-woman bio-show about vaudeville legend Sophie Tucker.
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.
"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."
"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."
"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."