Ten days ago, Yanna performed in cabaret in the back room at La Goulue on 61st and Madison. It was the debut for La Goulue as a cabaret venue, and it was Yanna’s first cabaret appearance this year.
Yanna grew up in Paris. She likes people to know she is of Romanian parents but an American only knows a Parisienne when talking to her. Her concerts are lively with French cabaret songs. On this night, with a packed room, she appeared simply glam in a white ruffly blouse and black palliated blousy trousers and heels. She’s the chanteuse immediately. The repertoire was French and American, especially Cole Porter who loved Paris and wrote about it. Doing her Porter medley, she was joined by two smashing and sparkling can-can dancers in costume and doing those kicks.
Yanna gave us a little bit of French history. La Goulue was the stage named of the French dancer Louise Webber whom Toulouse-Lautrecimmortalized in his paintings of the Paris cabaret. And from there the rest of the set was lively and bursting with that energy of the can-can. (They sang that one too.) It was a great evening of song that drew the audience into participating in the chorus of the familiar songs. It was Yanna’s greatest performance yet. She’ll be back in the fall.