LAURA FYGI in Concert
The Dunstan Playhouse. Adelaide Festival Centre. Adelaide Cabaret Festival. June 19-20
Reviewed by Peter Wilkins
|Laura Fygi Photo by Otto van der Toorn|
Laura Fygi exudes exotica. Born of an Egyptian belly dancing mother, raised in Uruguay, living in the Netherlands and travelling the world, Fygi’s repertoire is diverse and, in the lyrics of Cole Porter, “bewitching” and “beguiling”. In her Australian premiere, and first appearance in the country during her twenty-five year illustrious career as a solo artist, Fygi swings and sways with sultry charm as she sings her songs from as wide a selection as “To the beat of the Tom-tom” from the old Nelson Eddy, Jeanette McDonald classic, Rose Marie, to Cole Porter’s classic Night and Day to the sensuous French songs of Michel Legrand. Her husky sultry voice ideally suits her impersonation of Marilyn Monroe’s seductively charged Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
Fygi’s repertoire takes her audience on an international journey of song, as she sings the popular rhythms of Brazil and Uruguay, singing in Portuguese and Spanish. Her body sways to the deep and soothing sounds of the saxophone and musical director, Mark Ferguson’s band. It is an absolute highlight of the festival that visiting artists are accompanied by superb local musicians with limited rehearsal time, and yet provide first class accompaniment. Fygi’s band is no exception.
Audience participation has been a feature of this festival, and Fygi embraces the spirit of engagement with her audience with relaxed charm and a slight air of mischief. A chorus of “si bon” glideseasily through the auditorium. It is not so easy for Roger in the front row, who finds himself pulled to the edge of the stage as Fygi plies her seductive charm and teasing advances as she sings No,No, But Do It Again. Roger appears to take it all in bemused good spirit. After all, what male wouldn’t enjoy being sung to so seductively by the enrapturing Laura Fygi?
Fygi’s solo career has served her well. Her audience is gently swayed by her irresistible charm, husky voice and easy-listening song. They readily join in with her Spanish rendition of Cole Porter’s Perhaps, and, on cue, sing the refrain Quicaz. It is hardly surprising that a standing ovation should be shouting out for “More!” Fygi is only too happy to oblige with her encore closing number, the Nat King Cole version of Lerner and Loewe’s number, Almost Like Being In Love.
That’s just what it’s like being at a Laura Fygi concert.