Under The Paris Sky is a cabaret show with dinner and one of our recommended Adelaide Fringe shows.
We interviewed Georgia, one of the show’s creators.
Georgia, you, and Louise Lawson, are bringing your show Under the Paris Sky – Dinner & Show to the Adelaide Fringe for two performances in Thebarton in February. Tell us about the show.
The show is a celebration of well-loved French chanson/song. You’ll hear familiar tunes such as the sublimely beautiful “La Vie en Rose” and a powerfully moving rendition of “Non, je ne regrette rien”, two signature tunes of the great Edith Piaf, but also songs by the wonderful contemporary artist Zaz who is making an international name for herself writing great songs with knee-slapping rhythms and sublime lyrics that will uplift the world.
Georgia’s voice, especially when singing French, is sensuous and connected. She says she discovered her lips and her tongue when she started learning the French language and that is obvious during her songs as she executes the language with sensuous precision. She is resplendent in costume, with a glittering 3 x Eiffel Towers tiara reaching skyward from her own crown she has been described as “glittering” and a “powerhouse” performer by reviewers. Guests won’t need to understand French to love this show. It is crafted so that each song is illuminated creatively so that English speakers have a nuance at least of what each song is about and can be swept up in the mood of it. This is done using techniques such as substituting an English verse or chorus, introducing a song with English poetry or just chatting about life or a telling a story which then leads directly into a song that embraces the same sense. Georgia’s wife Louise adds hilarious comedy to this show (see below).
The event is packaged with a 2-course French meal so you can have a whole French experience. Guests will order from a choice of dishes of home-style cooking by caterers and venue owners Sue and Sarah Gallpen. They will enjoy the main course before the show and have dessert afterwards. Guests can purchase a CD of the songs in the show which has recently been studio-recorded and mastered by Louise’s son Liam sound engineer extraordinaire whose company Pareidroolia is doing great things too. So all in all, guests will enjoy a lovely soirée (Fri) or matinée (Sat).
Do you both have French backgrounds?
Neither of us have French backgrounds in terms of ancestry but I have been a keen student and lover of French since high school. I think I may have been French in a past life! Louise did a French maid impersonation for me for….personal reasons, at which point I announced that the character would join me on stage as she was too funny not to share.
You’ve been creating cabaret shows for the last 6 years. Tell us how that came about. How did you meet? Do you both have theatrical/music backgrounds or training?
Louise is my wife. We met, accidentally, online on a recipe-exchange site. We were looking for a recipe not a relationship! I was living in Melbourne at the time and so for two years we had a long-distance relationship, flying interstate to be together every couple of months. It was sweet torture. Louise has a solid grounding in folk music with a special love of Australian bush stories and songs which she plays on her guitar, though not in this show. She has done short stints in bush bands too.
I was born theatrical. I was singing and dancing at 5, but did not follow my passion into adulthood and so ended up in the corporate world after finishing a computer science degree – WTF?! I’ve done some amateur theatre (including Les Misérables) but once I came to Adelaide in 2012, met and learned from wonderful mentors like Matthew Carey, Sidonie Henbest and Catherine Campbell, I discovered Cabaret, though as Matthew once said “Georgia thinks she’s discovered Cabaret, but Cabaret has always known Georgia”
What artists can we expect to hear covered by you at Under the Paris Sky?
You will hear the songs of Edith Piaf, Zaz, Charles Trenet, Rupa and the April Fishes, Pink Martini and Jaques Brel. I am very excited in particular to include a number of Zaz’s songs in the show because she is a fantastic contemporary song writer and I believe her music and lyrics are responsible for some of the most joyful and uplifting moments shared by people, particularly in Europe and as such are contributing to the change we need to see in the human world. My hope is that I can be a conduit for her music to become popular in Australia, via my soon-to-be-released CD.
Tell us more about the comical characters
A fabulous part of this show is the unexpected comedy element. Character Julienne Carrotte makes an appearance after her cheating husband has left her for his secretary. A lady of leisure, Julienne couldn’t slice a vegetable if she tried. She blubbers her way through a wine-fueled, parodic rendition of “no regrets” that leaves us with no doubt as to how she is feeling about the treacherous couple. Well-loved French maid Cécile is there to “help”. Georgia found her on the Internet and things have gone downhill ever since. Georgia hasn’t yet realized that Cécile is only interested in helping Cécile and that the disappearance of her jewelry and the chaos that has been her life ever since, is all due to this infamous maid (who we suspect is not a real maid and is not actually French!). Cecile has become a bit of a “cult” character around Adelaide in that people usually check whether Cecile is in the show before they buy tickets!. It seems Georgia may be stuck with Cecile, as her Aussie alter-ego says, “like shit to a blanket”.
Who is this show for?
This show is for people who love French songs but may have felt a little bit shy about going to French events because they don’t speak or understand the language. It is also for French-speaking people who miss hearing their beautiful native language whilst living in or visiting Australia. It is for those who love sophisticated Cabaret yet doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Have you performed this show to French audiences before and if so, what did they think of it? Will the French appreciate Under the Paris Sky too?
I have performed some of the songs in this show to French audiences at Alliance Francaise events such as the opening of their French film festival and at the annual French market. They enjoyed my voice and the passion with which I interpreted each piece. They appreciated that I pronounce their language with little if any accent and some have even presumed I am une Francaise! – a French woman!
The ticket price includes home-cooked style dinner, main and dessert; vegetarian and GF catered for. Is the meal going to have a French focus? What is on the menu?
Yes, the meal will be French-style cuisine though the caterers will not finalise the menu until closer to the event to take into account variables like weather, numbers and whether I leave them any chocolate mousse for the guests.
Why should people come to see Under the Paris Sky?
If you love the sensuality of the French language sung to fabulous rhythms and sublime melodies then you should come to this show. It’s the whole experience because you don’t have to work out where to dine beforehand…just come and eat, drink and enjoy Georgia’s soaring voice, Simon Walter’s extraordinary piano playing and Louise Lawson’s hilarious comedy. You don’t have to come to the CBD, we’re in Thebarton so it’s easy access. Guests can be assured of a fabulous evening!
Under the Paris Sky will only have two shows: Friday 22nd February evening and Saturday 23rd February matinée. Tickets are available here.
Don’t forget you can also read our full list of recommended shows here.