Welcome to 2017 my dear readers! And what a better way to kick it off than an Edith Piaf tribute show at Carnegie Hall.
Edith Piaf is considered by many one of the greatest singers of the 20th century. A great number of those would argue she was actually the best one of the bunch. This tragic figure has been celebrated after her premature death with countless tributes, films and concerts. Yours truly has seen plenty of them. But what happened on this night, as we all sat in the iconic Carnegie Hall, was not just an homage to a singer that deserved more. It went beyond that. It was a time capsule we all agreed to be put upon, and suddenly we were in 1957, and in the same seat, same songs. But we weren’t. We were watching Anne Carrere, a young French singer who could not only easily pass as the legendary performer, but can match her notes for note. We were watching “Piaf! The Show.”
Broken into two acts, the first one serves as a quick revue of her life. From being a street performer to the time she was playing (and being wrongfully accused of being a sympathizer) for the Germans during WWII, to the moment she was in Carnegie Hall. We went through her life with her in the only way she could express herself truly. Through her melody Anne could not only sing, but she could act, and from the moment she walked onto the stage, she made us fall in love. Not as diminutive as the real Piaf, she still make herself bigger with every verse she sang. The band, as charming as the singer herself, were not just props or musicians in a pit, but players ready to take the stage and create a work of art to remember.
The second act consisted of a tribute concert in which Anna herself took away the pretension of being Piaf and became herself. It almost felt like she was taking the torch away and for herself. Her endearing persona, honest love for the source and powerful voice had us melted in our seats. She created a connection with the audience, and at the end, when she stood there in the middle of the stage and thanked us, we couldn’t help but to think “No, thank you!” Because sixty years after her last performance in this venue, the spirit of Edith Piaf was there with us. The stage felt more beautiful, the audience more engaged. With each song, our night improving, with each talk we felt our bond getting stronger.
With Anne Carrere, we had an opportunity to live a moment in a time when many of us weren’t yet alive, or were too young to experience. But instead of feeling like we missed out, Anne let her presence be known and made us thankful we lived in a time we can see her perform. I hope to one day see Anne Carrere performing her songs, and that unlike Edith Piaf herself, she stays for a long time.
Twisted Talk: Are you a fan of Edith Piaf? Have you seen this show? Discuss below!