Xara Vaughan: Wanderlust: The Songs of Ty Jeffries

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Xara Vaughan

Wanderlust: The Songs of Ty Jeffries

Live at Zédel at Crazy Coqs, London, U.K., June 7, 2018

Reviewed by Helen Theophanous for Cabaret Scenes

Xara Vaughan

Streisand had Michel Legrand and the Bergmans, Minnelli had Kander and Ebb, and in Wanderlust, a show created especially by composer and lyricist Ty Jeffries for Xara Vaughan, we discover that Vaughan has Jeffries. Reminiscent of Arlen, Bacharach, Aznavour, and the Gershwins, this is material that would fit seamlessly into the classic songbook, accompanied with flair by Tom Foskett-Barnes on the piano.

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Vaughan delivers in the old-school style with elegance and a ravishing palette of vocal colors, while humorously linking it all with stories from her own fascinating life. From the Porter-esque opener we’re swept along in a show that never rests on its laurels.

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There are hints of Judy and Barbra in Vaughan’s voice, which is loaded with both vulnerability and grit. She sometimes drops her crystal clear diction for a more down-to-earth London accent redolent of Piaf’s down-to-earth French accent.

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Whether soaring through Jeffries’ beautiful ballads, delighting with his witty cabaret numbers, or belting out his rousing showstoppers, Vaughan is a master storyteller and holds us spellbound. Wanderlust is hugely entertaining and the performer delivers a tour-de-force performance.

There is no doubt that singers will be clamoring to mine this rich seam of remarkable new classics of today.

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Xara Vaughan’s Wanderlust: The Songs of Ty Jeffries continues July 20 and Sept 27 at 9:15 pm Live at Zédel’s Crazy Coqs.

Ty Jeffries can be seen as his alter ego Miss Hope Springs in Blood Sweat and Sequins Live at Zédel July 5, August 11, and September 6.

Helen Theophanous

Helen Theophanous is half Greek/half Irish and studied music at Goldsmiths' and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. She has performed classical works and lead roles in musical theater. Following a career in Education Management, Helen studied jazz with Lea DeLaria and performs in major London venues, appearing regularly at Ronnie Scott's Bar with the resident trio with whom she made her album “Amici.” Her recent Bacharach show was launched at the Crazy Coqs, where Helen occasionally hosts the late night Open Mic. Clare Martin OBE said of Helen's voice “ ...stunning and classy ..with drama and presence...”