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REVIEW: A Night With Prinnie Stevens in ‘Lady Sings the Blues – Volume Two’

Last night, I had the total pleasure of witnessing Adelaide Fringe 2024 Ambassador, Prinnie Stevens, take the stage in ‘Lady Sings the Blues – Volume Two’ and let me tell you, it was nothing short of 100% engaging and rewarding as an audience member. Prinnie, with her powerhouse vocals and captivating stage presence, brought the story of the legendary Billie Holiday and more to life in a way that was both deeply moving, emotive and profoundly inspiring.

The Magic of Prinnie Stevens

From the moment Prinnie stepped into the spotlight, it was clear we were in for a treat. Her portrayal of Billie Holiday ‘Summertime’ was not just a performance; it was an embodiment. She channeled the soul, the pain, and the triumph of one of jazz’s greatest icons with such authenticity, it felt as though time had folded in on itself, bringing Lady Day right into the room with us. It most certainly did not stop there, female energy and empowerment was forthcoming and the lineup of artists highlighted were iconic in name. From Nina Simone to Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin to the late great Tina Turner were all represented. The room stood still though when Prinnie’s connection to Christine Anu’s ‘My Island Home’ was delivered with the heart and soul that this ‘Australian Idol’ artist is known for (how she did not win that year I will never know).

Vocals That Touch the Soul

Prinnie’s vocal performance was a masterclass in emotional storytelling. Each note she sang carried the weight of each artist’s tumultuous life, their battles, and their victories. It was a performance that went beyond mere imitation, capturing the essence of her idol’s unique sounds while infusing it with her own unique and very well adapted and grown-into flair. You see her anger, her tears, her joy, her heartache, her pain and her womanhood. Kudos to you dear P. Stevens. You have more than come into your own. And one day, THEY, will be honouring you.

The setlist

While I do not wish to give it all away… The setlist has been meticulously developed and created. Prinnie knows her sh*t and knows what will engage an audience. ‘Simply The Best’ was perfection as too was ‘I Can’t Stand The Rain’ (Done in an arrangement that needs to be experienced, it changed the dynamics of your feelings while still paying massive respect to TT), Amy Winehouse was noted and we felt the sadness to our core. Prinnie has a way to tell a story. And while she connected the songs through meaningful and authentic dialogue, it was her singing voice that that hit us in our hearts. ‘A Song For You’ (Whitney style) was deep and heart-breaking.

A Production of Heart and Soul

‘Lady Sings the Blues – Volume Two’ as a production was a beautifully crafted tribute to the ladies of song legacies. Held in Gluttony’s Kingfisher, the set design, lighting, and costume all worked in harmony to recreate the era in which Holiday reigned supreme. But it was Prinnie’s performance that stood at the heart of it all, transforming the show into an unforgettable experience. With a brilliant pianist Dave McEvoy at her side, Prinnie dominated and held stance fiercely and unwavering in message. Side note: Dave’s loyalty to Prinnie’s talent is obvious his incredible musicianship of the evening hangs on every note uttered from the divine Miss P’s lips. It is a joy to see two artists in union.

A Standing Ovation

As the final note lingered in the air, the audience rose to their feet in a unanimous standing ovation. It was a testament to Prinnie Stevens’ incredible talent and her ability to connect with the audience on a deep, emotional level. She didn’t just perform; she shared a story, and in doing so, paid homage to one of the most influential figures in the history of jazz music.

In conclusion, Prinnie Stevens in ‘Lady Sings the Blues – Volume Two’ is a must-see for anyone who loves music, history, or simply a night out at the theatre (Kingfisher Tent, albeit lined with stunning black drapes and great lighting) that promises to be as enriching as it is entertaining. Her performance is a reminder of the power of music to convey the deepest emotions and the enduring legacy of Billie Holiday through to Tina Turner. Bravo, Prinnie, and thank you for a night that will be cherished and remembered. You are a star, and you win!

I can’t even recommend this show enough. A fabulous FIVE STARS from me.

Adelaide Fringe / Gluttony until 25 February 2024.

Get along and grab your tickets right here!

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