Louisa Krause: Louisa, Requested

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Louisa Krause

Louisa, Requested

The Duplex, NYC, April 26, 2018

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Louisa Krause

Louisa Krause knows how to put on a show. Shaking her hair, pouting her lip, and putting on a smile as wide as the end of a spatula, she can capture a melody like a heart can too. Pianist Frank Spitznagel gives her space to improv intriguing melodies, to which she puts words suggested by the audience. These various suggestions become the “story” of her life. In between, she sang a pair of standards with enough execution to deserve the adoring fan club that has set up shop at The Duplex to cheer for her.

Calling the old standards “shitty” songs with perhaps a real touch of distaste, she seemed to be a Queen of the stage, commanding attention with the flick of a wrist or the upturn of her nose. As she flawlessly executed “Stormy Weather” (Harold Arlen and Ted Koehler) and then “Someone to Watch Over Me” (George and Ira Gershwin), one couldn’t help but wonder why she didn’t stick to the songbook for the whole hour.

Well, maybe, because it wasn’t a challenge for her?

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A mere conjecture, it might be, but Louisa, Requested is an improv skit of songs split by a comedy routine which features word play and puns. While the songs presented themselves as a little nonsensical, it was merely because the audience suggestions were more random than the prompts. They gave her things like a third husband whose job as a masseuse was made difficult on account of the fact that he had no hands. And a father who died falling off a silo when she was a young girl growing up on a sheep farm.

Complete songs—verses, choruses, and bridges—streamed out of her, but none more impressive than the final number when she brought the whole show together in a cunning finale. Singing with that contagious smile, she began with “I believe you when you say you have it in you to climb that mountain” from an audience prompt of “hiking” in response to “learning to love oneself.

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” She then worked her way back through each song, verse by verse, referencing “a broken neck” and the “love of a giraffe” before rhyming that with “I’ll climb it on your behalf.”

The excited whispers before and after the show confirm Krause puts on a show.

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 StruckChris.com