Edinburgh Fringe 2010
Rachael Sage, a Jewish New Yorker gives us lessons in Yiddish, live and love, and collects our complaints, our "kvetches", blending them into song.
The songs are thoroughly enjoyable, and wildflower, Sage herself is full of charisma and spunky humour in this hour of delight. She shares songs of her personal trek through life with a New York Jewish directness, quick wit and warm humour. That which makes her kvetch makes us smile, tap our feet and simply enjoy the sheer breadth of talent of the woman.
She’s a fine piano player and her band support with percussion just at the right level, an atmospheric cello and a variety of other well chosen instruments.
These are songs that have things to say, and they’re well worth listening to. From a theatrical point of view, both music and her banter are little bits of theatre with different dramatic levels and flavour. She’s full at ease which infects the whole of the cabaret bar from the first kvetch. Each kvetch is really a kind of micro celebration of being alive. And her Jewish take on the world is both homely and worldly, rarely cheesy or schmaltzy.
Then she collects in our kvetches in a hat and fashions them into
poetic songs. She free flows making for an extra pinch of clever
comedy. This is a protean performer of the highest order and her show is a hidden gem worthy of New York’s finest delicatessens, offering not fine, fresh food for the body, but for the soul. One of the
outstanding aspects of the performance is the consumate ease with which it creates an authentic ease in the audience. It would be perhaps better if she was freed a little from being behind the keyboard for at least a couple of numbers and also picked out better by a stage spot. But these are the only quibbles in a truly excellent performance.
There’s lashings of tasty smoke salmon and cream cheese in this buffet of song, humour, beat poetry, lessons in Yiddish vocabulary, and, of course, kvetches (complaints). The next right thing you should do in your life is catch this show.