FRINGE 2013 – Piano Chicks – The Promethean – 4K

High Res PIano Chicks

By Alana Massalsky

Becky Blake is a piano chick.  A seasoned performer well versed in the ups and downs of making a living in the entertainment industry, but evidently still very much in love with the life.  In Piano Chicks Becky candidly shares personal and professional stories, mingled with songs by famous piano chicks influential throughout her career.

Joining Blake on stage were a very able group of musicians amongst whom cellist Sandy Hosking was most memorable, adding textural and emotional depth to Becky’s skilful piano and lead vocals.  The other musicians were somewhat underutilised, but one doesn’t get too distracted by that – Becky is much too engaging.

Hits by Carol King, Carly Simon, Lady Gaga, Jewel, Tori Amos, Delta Goodrem, Missy Higgins, Alicia Keys and Sarah McLachlan were all covered admirably well, astute and amusing details of the artists’ lives serving as introduction to the songs.  Part of the way in Becky invited current students of Brighton Secondary School onstage to provide backing vocals – a nice gesture to the formative importance of her high school years.

The audience definitely enjoyed themselves, and I suspect its numbers were bolstered by friends and family as well as dedicated long time fans (perhaps of her former Chunky Custard days).  For those less familiar with this style of pop cabaret, the delivery could come across as disconcertingly well-polished.  For the most part this just served to highlight Becky’s proficiency as a performer, but occasionally it jarred with the artistic intention of the original song:  most notably with Birdy’s Skinny Love, which in its original incarnation is a gorgeously raw and low tech recording.

An assured performance, a funny anecdote or two, a generous and captivating performer and a deliciously intimate, climate controlled venue.  A refined Fringe night out indeed!

Kryztoff rating 4K

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