Emma Dean in Stripped reviewed
June 5, 2011 Tuxedo Cat
Pop cabaret songstress Emma Dean has created a quirky, flamboyant world with her ‘imaginary friends’. In this solo show, she dares to strip down – literally and figuratively. She strips for costume changes, and it’s a departure from her usual visual extravaganza with multiple performers. It’s simply Dean in a black unitard, her keyboard, Betty the mannequin and occasional appearances by her guest star Emily Davis. Even the songs have a minimalistic approach and are laid bare.
Dean’s take on cabaret is light on banter and heavy on storytelling through her lyrics, and it works. Her distinctive, soaring voice carries detailed nuances and emotions of each number. Her original songs, including the US top 15 single “Sincerely Fearful” from her latest album Dr Dream Imaginary Pop-Cabaret, are honest and imaginative. They all reflect her rich, magical universe. The deliciously decadent interpretation of The Smashing Pumpkins’ “Bullets with Butterfly Wings” is a revelation.
This stripped down version of her show puts a solid focus on Emma Dean’s unique gift as a singer/songwriter/storyteller. Here’s hoping she’ll continue to flourish performing solo and unleash even more of her bewitching charm.
Associate Editor, Cabaret Confessional
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