Liza Pulman: Liza Pulman Sings Streisand

Liza Pulman

Liza Pulman Sings Streisand

Live at Zédel at the Crazy Coqs, London, UK, April 23, 2018

Review by Thanasis Kalantzis for Cabaret Scenes

Liza Pulman

In her latest show, Liza Pulman Sings Streisand, Pulman comes clean at the beginning that this is not a tribute, or account of the diva’s life story, for she has offered a lot and has more to offer. In the span of more than 50 years, Barbra, with her unmistakable voice and style, has brought perfection to the most iconic and demanding songs, equaling nothing less than a singularity in performing arts, something that Putman humbly acknowledges. All this singer wants is to celebrate and ultimately pay her respects to the diva’s music through 18 wisely selected songs from different stages of Streisand’s career. Excellent singer, comedian, and one third of the side-splitting satirical group Fascinating Aida, Pulman is well positioned for the challenge.
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She introduced her first act with Barbra’s signature “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and immediately had us hooked to her vocal and acting abilities. She then had great fun with a lovely bossa version of “You’ve Got a Friend,” and exhibited her great timing and belting force with two comic numbers: “Miss Marmelstein” and “Sam, You Made the Pants Too Long.”

The Oscar-winning “Evergreen” (“Love Theme from A Star Is Born”) was simply perfectly pitched, and that continued with her sensational “New York State of Mind” filled with crisp notes. She closed the first set with “You’ll Never Know,” effortlessly transitioning into the love song of all love songs, “My Man,” with all its high notes in full presentation.

In the second set she presented another bossa nova with “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever,” while “The Way We Were” was as splendid as they come, even if, during the musical escalation toward the end, Pulman’s voice was somehow moved to the background from too much music in the room.
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She gave us a passionate “The Way He Makes Me Feel” from Yentl, as well as another fine mesh of “Honey Pie” and “I’ll Be Home.” A departure from the original dreamy rhythm, her “I Wish You Love” was a fast rendition, while she showcased her pipes with the high notes in “Happy Days Are Here Again.” She closed with “People,” which ended with a standing ovation.

A powerhouse class act, with her show Pulman demonstrated how cabaret entertainment is weaved. The result of a combination of her soprano, solid acting background, warm, confident and friendly presence, excellently timed, witty and informative repartee, the chanteuse offered an astonishing cabaret evening that will stay vivid as one of the greats on London stages.

Who could have thought that there is enough space on a stage as small as the Crazy Coqs’, but Pulman managed to find it for all six members of Liza Pulman’s Stardust Ensemble: Andy Taylor-Vebel (guitar and banjo); Tom Mark (bass); Richard Party (alto sax and woodwind); Steve Walker (trumpet and flugelhorn); and music director Joseph Atkins (piano and accordion). The Ensemble stood up to the challenge of artfully executing the difficult and superb arrangements, filling the room with rich tones highly deserving of the theme.

Thanasis Kalantzis

Thanasis started reviewing for Cabaret Scenes in 2012. He started by reviewing primarily jazz and cabaret artists visiting from the U.S., but these days, he concentrates on British talent. Recently, he added covering musical theater to his duties. He was born in the heart of rural Greece in 1967. He studied Archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki, worked as an excavator in the prehistoric town of Akrotiri, Santorini, and then spent two years on the beautiful island of Crete excavating a Roman village, among other sites. In 1991 he moved to London to study for his MA in Archaeology at University College London thinking that, upon completion, he’d return to Greece and continue with his excavation work. Nevertheless, he gave this amazingly diverse city a go, and started working with various companies, including the Horniman Museum, Sotheby’s and, most recently, the Big Lottery Fund, the organization that allocates lottery funds to arts and charities. His been in London for 26 years, and is happily married to his husband and runs a small, successful business.