Hey, Piano Bar Lady!

TAPAC Foyer - Western Springs, Auckland

05/03/2011 - 19/03/2011

Auckland Fringe 2011

Production Details


HEY, PIANO BAR LADY!, Linn Lorkin’s new jazz musical comedy set in ‘80s Manhattan will be running three Saturdays in a row at TAPAC, 100 Motions Rd, Western Springs from 5 March during Auckland Fringe Festival. 

Unfolding like a Broadway musical, the show is a slice of the Big Apple and her life there – how she ‘made it’ from arriving broke and playing for $20 a night to performing in swanky clubs on Park Avenue, along the way getting married, divorced and having a baby.

Most recently performed at Don’t Tell Mama in Manhattan, Hey, Piano Bar Lady! features a full score of original songs, including her famous Family at the Beach, penned in New York from a dream about her kiwi childhood. While many of these songs were written white-hot from experiences at the time, others were inspired by her recent sojourn back in New York. 

For this show, the TAPAC foyer will become a New York supper club with specialty New York supper and cocktails available at the bar. 

"….a delightful romp through ‘80s Manhattan. Linn Lorkin is the complete entertainment package." Linda Amiel Burns, BroadwayAfterDark.com

“…with catchy songs galore, this show sparkles! a lively combination of beautiful singing, spirited story-telling and dazzling jazz piano-playing…” – Magee Hickey, Presenter, WCBS-TV, NYC

Show Details
DATES: Saturday 5 March, 12 March and 19 March
TIMES: 10 pm (5 & 12 March) / 9.30 pm (19 March)
VENUE: TAPAC foyer with Cabaret table seating and NY supper and bar menu available
SPECIAL: Come to an earlier Auckland Fringe Festival Saturday show at TAPAC and purchase a ticket to HEY, PIANO BAR LADY! on the night for only $10.00 (tickets usually $25.00) subject to availability. 
BOOKINGS: Ph 845-0295 or www.tapac.org  

Watch a clip of Hey, Piano Bar Lady! Performed at Dont Tell Mama, NYC, November 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wx7FQJHoRnw    

Recordings by Linn Lorkin are available from
www.rouge.co.nz, I tunes and www.amplifier.co.nz  

Saturdays only

A Red Head on Fire

Review by Richard Howard 06th Mar 2011

They say write about what you know and Linn Lorkin in Hey Piano Bar Lady has done exactly that with considerable flavour and style.  Hey Piano Bar Lady reveals the passion of a woman exploring and living her dream. 

A self-devised cabaret-style jazz musical with lots of original songs and numerous references to Broadway hits, this show is an absolute delight, easy on the ear, uplifting and pleasing to the heart.

Linn Lorkin, a highly accomplished singer, piano player and song writer (of Klezmer Band and the Jews Brothers) sings and talks us through a earlier period of her life: from Tokoroa, through Copenhagen and Italy and to her rise as a leading Piano bar player in New York in the late 70’s to the mid 80s. 

Set in piano bar style in a late night slot in the foyer of TAPAC (The Auckland Performing Arts Centre), and a late addition to the Auckland Fringe Festival (not published in the official programme), the is audience seated at small tables with wine, cocktails and New York style snacks in an intimate ‘rough ambience’ reminiscent of some hole in the wall cellar bar of the period. 

And a piece of its period it certainly is; a series of images of a time when the Piano bar was a widespread and popular phenomenon, the after-work cocktail was obligatory, the music easy, handmade and often surprisingly insightful.

Initially a reluctant song composer, Linn Lorkin rose to the creative challenge of New York, not only learning 50 popular American songs (and many others in French and Italian), but producing numerous original works, 12 of which are presented in the show.

Linn sings and speaks of her joys, achievements, loves, losses and experiences in New York; simple insightful themes that express mood, place and time. In her iconic song ‘Family at the Beach’ she expresses a dream reminiscing about her childhood and the family holidays – amusing and highly evocative of NZ and being in a big city yearning for space and time and simplicity. 

Her songs are rich with colour and character, quirky and heavily influenced by the New York jazz and Broadway idioms of the time. This music could not have been produced anywhere but in New York and possibly nowhere else epitomizes, or allows greater expression of the character, soul and nature of this singer song writer. 

‘Love Slipped In’ is a delicious song; composed with a man she came to marry. ‘International Sofa’ lady and ‘Green Card’, ‘Down Coat’ and the ‘Apartment Song’ are all cleverly worded evocative songs.

Okay, so more could have been made of the piano bar setting and less of some small superfluous elements – like the initial introduction and the theatrical device of tipping the singer. The Piano Bar Lady stands on her own talent and needs none of that. The intermittent anecdotes could possibly be slightly condensed, sharpened up, particularly in the beginning, and better shaped into performance style, although the simple intimacy of telling the stories also has appeal. 

Whether or not this show develops further as a cabaret musical, it can still stand on its general character and appeal, its range of unique songs and the piano playing, singing and exotic qualities of the girl from Tokoroa – a redhead on fire who is most definitely The Piano Bar Lady!

Playing two further shows at TAPAC – see production page [click title above]. Bookings advisable.

This review kindly supported by The James Wallace Arts Trust http://www.wallaceartstrust.org.nz/

For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News.  


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