Lady Rizo: Red, White and Indigo
Venue: Rainy Hall – Assembly Hall
Lady Rizo struts on the Assembly Hall stage like a sparkling beacon in a glittering dress, she’s a firecracker of vocal might, searing wit and a master of physical comedy. The cabaret star is here as part of her international apology tour, to make amends to the world for the behaviour of her bad boyfriend “America” with whom she shares a passionate love-hate relationship.
Performing against the backdrop of a scrappy, overturned Stars and Stripes flag, Rizo enters with a tweaked rendition of The Star Spangled Banner – reflective of the tone of the show ahead. From then Rizo recounts her early life growing up with liberal parents in a state made up of equal numbers hard Republicans as liberal Democrats. This dichotomy between the left and right makes up much acerbic comedy of Red, White and Indigo which dips into Russian-US relations (a hilarious tale of a real Soviet-US child’s peace musical has to be heard to be believed), whilst Rizo has much to say about her country’s Pussy Grabber In Chief, women’s rights and immigration.
Musings about the US’s issue with gun crime are followed by a mash up of Nancy Sinatra’s Bang Bang with D’Angelo’s Shit Damn Motherfucker – which surprisingly works to great effect. Rizo gets the crowd going with a high-octane Russian folk number complete with shots, whilst covers of Leonard Cohen and Nina Simone anthems impress. Rizo delivers powerhouse vocals reminiscent of blues greats like Etta James and fills a room with her distinctive voice, especially when enhanced by the backing of a full band.
Lady Rizo’s original material also impresses. Hit of You shines as Rizo attempts to familiarise herself with the audience’s distinct musk, whilst there is an eerie poignancy in Los Angeles ballad, Ghosts of the Chateau Marmont. The cabaret star pairs many of her musical numbers with a raucous physical comedy – a glove removal turns a simple gesture into a humorous comedy skit, whilst Rizo’s “eye choreography” during an earlier number is a highlight.
Red, White and Indigo is a tremendous showcase for the musical and comedic talents of Lady Rizo. Her acerbic wit, infectiously joyous personality and powerhouse vocals ensure that this is an undeniable treat.