On Saturday night October 27, 2018 the theatrical premiere of Street Singer… Celebrating the Life of Edith Piaf was presented on Stage at Kingsborough. Street Singer starred Christine Andreas and was choreographed by Pascal Rioult. The show thrilled the packed house, as it captured the essence of the internationally famous French singer Edith Piaf. Andreas and Rioult’s talents fit together beautifully, as the Rioult Dance Company told the story in dance.
The evening opens with Andreas dressed in black velvet as she enters the stage singing “Non Je Ne Regrette Rien.” She was riveting as the dance company accentuated the feeling of the song.
Piaf’s story started with her childhood living among ladies of the evening who care for her as she suddenly goes blind. When miraculously Piaf regains her sight, her belief in God strengthens and she is inspired by the event to write “Mon Dieu.” Andreas is passionate as sings this song, with a pas de deux accompanying her. The number took my breath away in it’s beauty.
Pascal Rioult wears many hats in this production. Not only is he the choreographer, but he also narrated the piece, as well as play Piaf’s ill fated lover Marcel Cerdan who was killed in a plane crash.
Rioult choreography is sensual and thrilling. His dancers are superb and and convey the period.
As Andreas sang “La Vie en Rose”, a pas de deux showed the dancers dramatically expressing their love, as one of abuse and tenderness in the French Apache street style of the early 20th century.
The only time the dancers fell short is when they were use as narrators. They excel when they are dancing.
I saw a cabaret version of Street Singer and was so taken with the Pascal Rioult vision, that I wanted to see a theatrical version. I was moved and thrilled to have watched this again in it’s expanded version. The people seeing this production for the first time, shared my enthusiasm for this production.
The mission of On Stage at Kingsborough, is to bring artistically and culturally diverse, multi-disciplinary performances from masters of the form to communities in and around the Kingsborough Community College.