by Stephen Sorokoff for BROADWAY WORLD
Speaking French wasn’t a requirement for a table at Yanna Avis‘ Cabaret show at the famed French Bistro La Goulue last night but it sure felt like everyone was fluent in the language. PADAM, PADAM, PADAM, an overflow audience could’t resist the temptation at times to sing along with the alluring chanteuse who re-located the legendary New York City French establishment to Paris for the evening. Yanna made it a magical evening for all the patrons as they enjoyed the finest in French cuisine and the finest of French Cabaret.
The debonair Brit David Shenton Yanna’s longtime music director was on the keyboard and violin. The authentic sounds of Parisian music were created by Will Holshauser on Accordion and Steve Doyle of Bass. Daniel Isengart directed, and even included Can Can dancers Angela Harriell and Julie Smith in his very authentic cabaret production.
If a continental, smoky chanteuse comes to mind, then Yanna Avis makes a serious impression. A noted stage and television French actress before she came to the United States, this Titian-tressed chanteuse knows how to land a baby grand with style; her sets, peppered with French, English, Spanish, Italian and German songs sizzle in any time zone. Her unique style of international cabaret has made her a must-see in New York’s most prestigious rooms.
At the invitation of maestro Gian Carlo Menotti, she has performed at Italy’s famed Spoleto Music Festival after Menotti heard her album “Easy Come, Easy Go.” She was the first cabaret performer invited to the legendary festival, and after overwhelming success was asked to return to perform at the “Cafe Chantant” on the Piazza.
On the foreign scene, she has performed in London at the Jermyn Street Theatre and in Mexico City.
Ms. Avis was trained at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in Paris and graduated with a second prize in tragedy. She performed in various productions both classical and contemporary, including John Guare‘s “House of Blue Leaves ” and “Boeing-Boeing”, a big Broadway hit this season, and appeared in films and plays on French Television.