Wednesday, June 26, 2013

'MADAME AMERICA' HITS BERLIN ... Some like it heiss!

Last night I went back to the delightful, atmospheric Bar Jeder Vernunft, the glamorous little tented venue which, in 2009, launched me so auspiciously on my now annual round of Berlin showbusiness (

Somehow, I hadn’t been back there since that memorable night, but now all that is set right.

Ever since this city and its entertainment world became a fixture in my life, I have heard the name of Gayle Tufts spoken in every corner. An American comedienne and singer in Berlin. THE American comedienne and singer in Berlin. Germany’s ‘Miss America’. Or ‘Madam America’. But it has taken me until now to actually see her in performance.

Ms Tufts’ evening, Some Like It Heiss, is a classic, fun-filled mixture of stand-up comedy, fine monologue material, and zippy songs. And the lady herself a statuesque, twinkling dame who doesn’t look nearly old enough to be joking about the menopause. She delivers her material in a rich, clear contralto: mixing German with sprigs of American in such a way that even folk like myself, with a limited acquaintance with the German language, can understand the humour. And it is that genuine type of humour, based on real life and personal experience, and not just a collection of joey-joeys. Friendly humour, likeable humour. The best sort.

The musical part of the evening (accompanist: the enjoyable Marian Lux) was just as successful as the comic and just as personal. Great to hear original material, rather than ‘Don’t Rain on my parade’ or ‘I’m still here’! And delivered with ringing panache. Great to hear someone taking the mickey out of the oh-so-trendy Brecht/Eisler tradition. Great full stop. Has anybody yet cast this lady as anything from Dolly and Mame to Mrs Peachum?

So, a grand return, for me, to the Bar Jeder Vernunft, and a grand introduction to ‘Madam’ Gayle Tufts and her thoroughly ‘hot’ show. Those who like it ‘heiss’ will love this!  I did.

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