As is embedded in the French language itself, 'Under the Paris Sky' opens with poetic stanza. This scene setter paints a picture of Paris as it is seen with French eyes and filtered through a romantic Latin lens. Georgia shines in her glittering evening dress of cobalt-blue, awakening us to the City of Lights. A city confident in both its romance and torment, of love and tragedy, Paris becomes the backdrop of great cabaret music. The Piaf classics of 'La vie en rose' and 'Non, je ne regrette 'rien' will always draw a tear but as Georgia respectfully enters Piaf's iconic theatre of sadness, she makes these songs her own. As Georgia follows stories of love through the streets of Paris- we go with her.
Contrast Georgia's French-language tonal tapestry to her English-language song selections. The latter almost had a 'Berlin marching rhythm', a forceful rhythmic simplicity inherent in Germanic-language rhyme-rhythm composition. While the intention behind the comparative musical styles may have been to create an audience-inclusive cabaret structure, musically, the style juxtaposition provided yet another level of intrigue.
The bilingual nature of 'Under the Paris Sky' was an impressive technical and cabaret-form achievement. The English narrative and interludes gave musical context to those who were not French-fluent, and those who were, remarked on Georgia's 'perfect French accent, intonation and speed-fluency'. The comedic interlude of the French maid and her 'vaudeville-banters' with extraordinary pianist Simon, provided timely 'light and shade' and worked to only highlight Georgia's own onstage craft. On the night that I attended, although audience numbers were down, Georgia's audience connection did not diminish. Her energy is warm, interactive and inviting.
'Under the Paris Sky' breaks down language barriers through Georgia's masterful detailed attention to French-language music and her confident celebration of its differences and nuances. This show exposes 'the poetry of music' and inspires audiences to open hearts to 'songlines' that are emotionally bold and edgy.