Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Jezebel of Jazz

MEDIA RELEASE: For Immediate Release

She Was Known as the “Keith Richards” of Jazz Music. So Why Have You Never Heard of Anita O’Day?

At her peak, she was regularly mentioned in the same breath as jazz greats like Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Dinah Washington. But fame requires both talent and luck, and luck never quite seemed to find Anita O’Day, so today this legend of jazz has been largely forgotten. A cabaret piece debuting at the 2014 Fringe Festival is hoping to change that.

Actress Liz Kirkman learned about O’Day from friend and fellow performer David Goldthorpe. “He was developing a show on Chet Baker and I was envious of having a vehicle that could marry both my acting and my singing skills.” Goldthorpe suggested she look at O’Day. Kirkman did, and recognized a kindred spirit to whom she could relate. She immediately asked a writer friend, Kelli Greene Caldwell, to get started on a script.

The result, titled, “The Jezebel of Jazz: Songs and Stories with Anita O’Day”, directed by Jacqueline Coats, contains scenes from O’Day’s life interspersed with performances of her most famous and moving songs. From start to finish, it is largely a solo performance by Kirkman. Earlier this year, Kirkman performed a shortened version of the play that confirmed she’d made the right choice in choosing O’Day as a subject. “I see a lot of similarities between us. Not wanting to conform to a 'typical' kind of life, a strong, stylistic voice that is not 'pretty,' and we both have big bucked front teeth! In terms of career, Anita always seemed to be missing the bus - solidly working, but not respected in the same way as her contemporaries.” Kirkman muses, “Of course, she had amazing successes and is highly respected amongst jazz musos, but the general populace never took her up in the same way as other singers.”

O’Day’s life was so filled with drama, it’s surprising we’ve heard so little about her. Kirkman laughs, “The drugs, the jail time, the mix of men, the career spanning 8 decades! Seriously, who does that?! What's not to be interested in? She's amazing.” She hopes the performances will give audiences a chance to get up close and personal with one of jazz music’s hidden talents. “Anita was a powerful storyteller. But if you ever see the documentary made on her, 'Anita O'Day - Life of a Jazz Singer' you can see the moment where her story ends and then there's a vulnerability, a weight, a truth that I don't think she spent much of her life sharing. I want to be able to share that character, the 'spinner' that she was, but also moments of that vulnerability behind the facade. And of course, her amazing arrangements, the way she played with timing and her sense of ease and truth when singing. I can't wait to share that.”

Jezebel of Jazz
2014 New Zealand Fringe Festival
Bats Theatre
22nd - 26th of February 8pm I Sunday Matinee 2pm
Full $18 I Concession/ Group $14
Tickets: www.bats.co.nz

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news