What: Simply The Best: The Music of Tina Turner
Where: Empire: Gluttony
Duration: 50 minutes
When: Now to March 15 @ 8:50pm
Genre: Music / Cabaret
(Reviewed by John Glennie)
I saw Cleopatra Higgins doing an Aretha Franklin tribute a couple of weeks ago and was blown away with the show. When she said she was performing the songs of Tina Turner at the end of the Aretha season, I just had to see if it was just as good. Was I disappointed? Hell … NO!!
Thankfully we had front row seats this time and were both wow-ed by this performance. She hit the stage with Nutbush – which would normally be left for an encore – and the tempo was set! We were given an insight into the abusive relationship between Ike & Tina Turner – with their first chart-topping single A Fool In Love thrown in the midst. When Tina finally left the violent Ike he took everything (house, cars, money, song rights … everything) and gave her a half-million debt for the concerts they had to cancel because of the split.
Thankfully the rest of the show was about the resurgence of Tina as a soloist and how her career blossomed under an Australian manager. We had a few tracks, including the title track, from the multi-platinum Private Dancer album – a favourite of mine. Cleopatra threw in a great mix of Tina’s classics including River Deep, Mountain High and a few covers – such as Robert Palmer’s Addicted To Love and The Trammps Disco Inferno. She left Simply The Best for the finale – but the whole show was Simply The Best!
With a plethora of music shows available at The Fringe, it is hard to work out which ones to see. I strongly urge you to not miss this one! Cleopatra Higgins has a real presence on stage. She has incredible energy, interacts with the audience superbly including moving around the whole venue and dancing with members of the audience and urging everyone to get up and dance, take photos, record it … the works. It helps (for me anyway) that she is really pretty and obviously superbly toned and fit J!
Coming out of the venue I did not hear one bad or derogatory comment. Without exception the only words were superb, brilliant, exceptional, etc. So don’t just take my word for it!