Monday, 31 March 2014

The Crazy Coqs~ Presented Patti Boulaye

Earlier this month ~IB~ was delighted to experience an intimate evening at The Crazy Coqs, Soho; particularly as we were invited to attend Patti Boulaye's return to the stage after 14 years.
This proved to be an exceptionally enjoyable evening held in ‘artistic’ surroundings. If you love Art Deco you will love The Crazy Coqs, an experience that's almost 3D with its art Deco effect extending from walls to ceiling- red, black and silver coming at you from all angles-beautiful and totally awesome, matched only by the immaculate service and quality entertainment!
We joined the audience which included many of Patti’s celebrity friends; she was extremely well supported: Uri Geller, Anthea Turner and several members from the cast of East Enders. Her family was also present- even the latest addition, Patti’s baby grandson! This may seem irrelevant however Patti’s pride and love of her family came across very clearly, underpinning everything else in her life- great example from a public figure.
First impression of Patti was WOW… Shirley Bassey has some competition!  Patti’s outfits were extremely glamorous, jewelled gowns glittering, and armed with a feather Boa, Patti wooed her audience whilst her powerful voice rang out as true and clear as ever. 'Don't Cry For Me Argentina' was the song of the night delivered with genuine emotion as Patti’s performance really excelled. Patti is a true story teller and can deliver sleazy songs in a classy manner- man being the key word: Kitchen Man and Rough and Ready Man (written by Alberta Hunter- in her latter years!)
I was impressed by the way Patti narrated the evening, taking us firstly through her absence from the stage to the here and now. Patti had spent a great deal of time in her native Africa and set up the ‘Reaching Out For Africa’ charity to rescue babies with aids. I was touched by Patti’s non-judgemental attitude and understanding of practices that are abhorrent to most of us. She has instigated incredible work resulting in an extremely successful project.
Musically, Patti began her journey by accident when she found she was in a queue to audition for the musical Hair and to her surprise was offered a part in it. Patti clearly enjoys musicals and we were treated to ‘The Sun Whose Rays,’’ from her days in The Black Mikado, Habanera (Carmen Jones) and Memories (Cats.) Patti delivered a well- balanced programme and besides musicals, included entertaining and popular music rounding off with ‘My Way’ and the more recent Amy Winehouse hit, ‘Valerie.’ 
As a proud parent, Patti enjoyed presenting her extraordinarily talented daughter who gave a very soulful performance and clearly has her mother’s gift for song.
It was definitely a night to remember and I came away full of song and wishing to discover more about 'Reaching Out For Africa.'
Finally, kudos to musical director Allan Rogers for a job well done!

Jaz McKenzie

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