Gayle Tufts: Let it Show – review

Gayle1a_Letitshow_Foto © Jan WirdeierA Little Las Vegas on the Spree

BERLIN (cd) – Gayle Tufts has long been the insider tip, (or is that Insider Tipi?) for English-speaking Ex-Pats in Berlin. An American Berlinerin since 1984, she has been wowing local audiences with her particular brand of ‘Denglish’ musical comedy stage shows since 1991. As a sometime Berlinerin, I try to get to Gayle Tufts’ shows whenever possible, because they’re not only musically excellent, but speak to the unique and comic intercultural challenges of the the Amerikaner (or in my case, Kanadierin) in Berlin. For instance, I had an aha-moment at her 2004 ‚Soul Sensations‘ show when she did a bit about the German habit of clapping on the upbeat, that is, 1 and 3 rather than the English and American rock ‘n roll tradition of clapping on the downbeat, 2 and 4. Ever notice that? What’s with that?

Gayle3_Letitshow__Foto © Jan WirdeierTufts is now a crowd favourite for Berliners, and will undoubtedly pack the 600-seat luxury theater tent, Tipi am Kanzleramt, every night from now until January 15. Suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) ‚Let it Show‘ is a strong dose of anti-SAD and anti-Euro-crisis endorphins. Tufts celebrates the season with winter-themed songs by Madonna, Paul Simon, Prince, Justin Timberlake, Journey, Wham and Tina Turner, with a few original compositions thrown in.

The show’s big sound is supported by Tufts’ band and her dancing boys, including terrific backup vocals and physical comedy by the burly baritone Chistopher Hemmans and tenor vocalist Anton Perez. Perez features in an impressive comedic ballerina solo in the unlikely medley of Tschaikovsky’s Nussknacker and Tina Turner’s Nutbush City Limits. Throw in a little Denglish patter and a few jokes about Oskar Lafontaine/Sahra Wagenknecht – or do you ever see women politicians taking on young boy toys, à la Angela Merkel and Bastian Schweinsteiger (Schweinkel? Merksteiger?) – and you have an evening of good fun.

As an encore at the show’s premiere, Tufts brought out a new comedic number from her Spring 2012 show, “I want to be Michelle Obama, I want to have her Oberarme,” a good laugh worth the price of admission, and a taste of things to come. Enjoy.

Cheryl Dueck © 2011 BonMoT-Berlin

Fotos © Jan Wirdeier


When: 26.11. – 25.12.2011 and 31.12.2011 – 15.1.2012
Where: tipi am Kanzleramt, 10557 Berlin-Tiergarten, Große Querallee
Cost: 20,80 – 39,50 €
Call: 030-39 06 65 50

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