Café Society Swing
Here at Fizzion we're delighted to present this very special show across multiple territories in collaboration with Alex Webb the show's creator and scriptwriter... a semi narrated musical show and it really doesn't matter if you are "into jazz" it's a dream show..
The New York Times called it 'a balm for the soul'; the Financial Times called it 'fabulous'. This words-and-music production has been a hit in London and New York (where it ran for three weeks at the 59E59 Theaters over Christmas 2014) and is now available as a concert show for European jazz clubs and festivals.
The show tells the true story of New York's first racially-integrated jazz club. From 1938 to 1949 Café Society played host to some of the finest musical talent of the 20th century, including Billie Holiday, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie and many others.
Jazz at Café Society brings the era to life, following the venue's thrilling musical journey through struggles and triumphs, to its eventual demise in America's 'Red Scare' of the late 1940s, when New York's powerful press columnists hounded the club out of business.
The irresistible soundtrack comes from the Café Society All Stars – an eight-piece group plus vocalists drawn from the cream of UK and US jazz talent. Musical highlights include representations of performances by Billie Holiday, Big Joe Turner, Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Sister Rosetta Tharpe and Lucienne Boyer. Billie Holiday was one of the first headliners at the club and it was at Café Society that Barney Josephson presented her with the classic protest song Strange Fruit – which became her signature song.
"Fabulous" – Financial Times (****)
"A genuine treat" – The Times (****)
"An eight-piece band worthy of any West End stage" - London Evening Standard (***)
New York reviews:
"A balm for the soul, though the story it tells is bittersweet … The triumph is in the music, because the music lives" – New York Times ('Critics' Pick')
"The reprises are done to a crisp and subtle turn, especially Harris's version of Billy Strayhorn's "Lush Life," Wade's version of Lewis Allen's "Strange Fruit" and Aimée's version of "Parlez-Moi D'Amour." The band is hot, too" – Huffington Post
"This is a simply wonderful show… Terrific arrangements performed by an eight piece band, support four vocalists channeling, not imitating, eventual luminaries like Lena Horne, Sarah Vaughan, Josh White, and Billie Holiday" – Woman Around Town
"You don't have to be a jazz aficionado to love Café Society Swing ... this revue truly dazzles. The instrumental and vocal expertise of the band and the singers can't be beat" – Theatre Pizzazz