Alison Jiear at Pizza On the Park
Jiear, best known to London theatregoers for her role as wannabe pole dancer Shawntel in Jerry Springer the Opera, hits you like a tidal wave of loveable charm from the off. Her repertoire is a skilful blend of pop and show tunes, highlights including a soulful cover of Rascal Flatts' “Bless the Broken Road” a belting rendition of “The Story Goes On” ( from Baby the Musical) and her ode to the “queen bee” of torch singers, “Streisand Got There First!”.
Only once does she unleash her feather boa-clad 'alter ego' for a rendition of the gloriously out of tune (and Jiear signature piece) “One Note Tango”. This is not an evening of raucousness, but a gentler exposition of nuanced vocal work and equally note-perfect comic delivery. There is pathos aplenty, as she dedicates a sweetly subtle version of Nat King Cole's “Smile” to the recently deceased Australian comedian Ernie Bourne.
Supported by Clive Dunstall on piano, Sam Burgess on bass and a gurning Mike Smith on drums, the set passes in the blink of an eye and by the time a pared down version of the Beatles' “In My Life” has put a fitting full-stop on proceedings, you climb out onto the street as if emerging from a dream.
An all-over massage for the soul.