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

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news