Aimee Marcoux: The Women of Bilbao: A Kurt Weill Retrospective

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Aimee Marcoux

The Women of Bilbao: A Kurt Weill Retrospective

The Triad, NYC, February 8, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Aimee Marcoux

Aimee Marcoux’s The Women of Bilbao settled into a pleasantly classy feel relying on her opera-like vocal style and her quick snippets about the turbulent life of composer Kurt Weill. An interesting character, Weill came into focus through Marcoux’s sketch of a romantic in the 1920s chasing safety and the freedom of a life far from the Germany he had called home. Marcoux, dressed in a beautiful, glittering dress, showcased Weill’s work with a “through the decades” exploration of his collaborations with other stars of his time, many of them the darlings of Broadway and more.

She began with an English rendition of the classic, title-inspiring “Bilbao Song” (English lyrics: Johnny Mercer). Her flair and striking facial expressions emphasized the song’s twisting emotion, and MD Doug Martin followed the many changes in pace with practiced grace. Marcoux regularly tapped into the dark hopefulness of Weill’s music. However, her “Pirate Jenny” truly impressed with both her research of Lotte Lenya (the woman who originated Jenny in The Three Penny Opera, saying, roughly, “tomorrow they will all know my name”) and Marcoux’s ability to bring Marc Blitzstein‘s lyrics to life. When she sang, “’cause there’s nobody gonna sleep here tonight/No nobody/No one,” she could’ve just as easily poured a glass of ice water down my back for the same effect. Keep an eye out for black freighters!

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The set carefully eased its way through Weill’s slight style changes as he grew from reminiscent into melancholically optimistic. While Marcoux spoke little between songs, she gave clarity to key moments with accurate details, which gave the show the feel of something cut straight from a ’20s French noir.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see