Louise Cloutier and Nick Sula presented “Loulou’s Back in Town” last Friday, June 7, 2013 to a nearly sold out crowd at Davenports Cabaret which I was delighted to attend. I have been consulting with Louise about my projects (she is also a composer) and I have proposed that she write original music for two of my pieces. So I was lucky to see her perform some of the original material she has devised for herself.
I truly loved what I saw. It turns out that she has a unique flare for novelty material and great range both comedic and dramatic. Her sensibility is sophisticated musically but extremely well grounded. You might even say earthy. If one had to categorize her material you might say she has a world music flavour. She is French Canadian and apparently a native French speaker so she has authenticity especially when touching upon French cabaret standards. But that’s just for starters.
The program on Friday was a cavalcade of “characters” all of which were just the folk you’d want to invite to a cabaret party. There were celebratory parodies of Piaf and many others. Louise really excelled with jazz interpretations of Gershwin’s “Embraceable You” as well as (remarkably) Ray Charles’ “Georgia” and she absolutely nailed Billie Holiday in “Lady Day (and Night).”
The others included Coward’s “Nina” a difficult Argentinian diva — and various ethnic types from Celtic to Yiddish who all possessed a talent to amuse: with an amazing range. The program set me thinking about gypsy jazz as a performance art! In any event, the audience was effusive in their appreciation for Louise and her presentation. It was a fabulous evening.