[NoHo Arts District, CA] – A NoHo Arts theatre review of “Ms Tucker Will See You Now” with writer-performer Laurel Meade and pianist Gregory Nabours at the monthly performances through 2023 at the Gardenia Supper Club.
“Ms Tucker Will See You Now” is a hilarious, heartfelt historical romp through the life and extraordinary career of the iconic cabaret performer Sophie Tucker.
The wonderfully talented Laurel Meade, with stalwart support from the brilliant Gregory Nabours on piano, takes us through Sophie’s fascinating life, her loves, triumphs and heartaches, all the time relating Sophie’s life and career to Laurel’s own.
I loved that. Making that connection, embracing the influence of Sophie’s life on hers is what makes this gorgeous show all the more wonderful.
Laurel’s affection for this groundbreaking and utterly fearless performer, one of the most popular US entertainers of the 20th century, is clear. But it goes far beyond that. During her performance of Ms Tucker’s songs and routines, she channels her…it’s really quite extraordinary. Laurel is herself one moment and Ms Tucker the next. Flitting between the songs and Ms Tucker’s phrases, to moments in her own life and finding the humor, the connections, the highs and lows that connect them. Reminding us all that it’s worth the struggling to be ourselves and to find happiness in that.
Laurel showcases an impeccable selection of songs, from “I Don’t Want to Get Thin,” to “Yiddishe Mama” and culminates in Gershwin’s “The Man I Love,” which she sings with a heartbreaking intensity, and with her own unique voice, powerful, emotional and utterly beautiful. The show is sprinkled liberally with dirty jokes, thankfully, and a little history of the female voice in comedy, as well as cabaret. Although Laurel is a university professor, she has a huge background in musical theatre and impeccable taste. So, there’s nothing stuffy about this show I can assure you. It’s insanely funny, warmly engaging and full of uplifting anecdotes and sweet and deeply personal stories.
The show might be called “Ms Tucker Will See You Now,” but I felt that it was the delightful and incredibly talented Ms Meade that was truly seen. Perhaps Ms Tucker gave her the nudge to be her own glorious self ‘en Cabaret’ and for that alone we should all be truly grateful.
The Gardenia Supper Club is a magical mystical place. Tucked away on Santa Monica Blvd, almost invisible, a sweetly simple gem, now the oldest continuously running supper club in the US and an early 80s treat with smokey mirrors, banquet seating, and a hushed reverence for the performing artists it hosts. Think “Body Heat” without all the sweating. And the food is divine…
Laurel Meade is performing “Ms Tucker Will See You Now” twice more before the end of the year. November 18 and December 8…the perfect Christmas soirée with friends and family perhaps? whatever you reason to go, there really should be no excuse to miss this fabulous show!
Monthly performances through 2023: November 18, December 8.
Gardenia Supper Club, 7066 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90038