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The Kid From Paris – Jean Brassard Sings Yves Montand review at Crazy Coqs London

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The Kid From Paris is Jean Brassard’s tribute to one of France’s most original talents, Yves Montand. Born Ivo Livi, the singer rose from the ashes of Nazi-occupied France to become one of country’s most successful exports. To the world, much like his signature number, Montand was Le Gamin De Paris – The Kid From Paris – the original Parisian crooner whose career was to span six decades. In fact we are reminded that Montand was actually born in Italy and began his musical career in a talent contest in Marseille. Brassard’s homage to Montand captures not just the spirit of the artist but the spirit of the age, from his humble beginnings washing hair in his sister’s salon to his high profile affair with Marilyn Monroe during the making of Let’s Make Love.

Opening with the light-hearted La Chansonnette, Brassard immediately transports us back to those early days in Marseille, where Montand styled himself as the Cowboy and warbled Dans Les Plaines Du Far West to a delighted public. Not all the numbers here are sung in their native language, such as fantastical The Bicycle, though the lilting melody of Syracuse – a real cross-over number with his crooning contemporaries across the Atlantic – benefits from Brassard’s bold delivery and not inconsiderable Gallic charm. Much the same can be said for the intrinsic eroticism of Sanguine, Joli Fruit, which would probably lose much of its allure given even a literal translation.

Accompanied by Leigh Thompson on the piano and occasionally the piano-accordion, The Kid From Paris introduces Brassard to a flourishing London cabaret scene, from which he will hopefully no longer be a stranger.

Production Information

Crazy Coqs, London, June 18-22

Authors
Jean Brassard, David Krueger
Director
David Krueger
Producer
Crazy Coqs
Cast
Jean Bassard
Running time
1hr 30mins

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