Review by Adriana Howe
It was definitely worth the 10-year wait for Tonight Piaf! Joelle Rabus Feb. 2 performance as Edith Piaf at Our Lady of the Mountains church was breathtaking.
And popular. The plan for cabaret-style seating had to be revamped to accommodate the sold out crowd. Still, the Whistler Community Arts Council succeeded in presenting a gift of culture to the gathered crowd. Mostly Boomers, they sat rapt as the show opened with an off-stage argument, Piafs voice raised in frustration.
When Rabu took the stage and began to sing, the shivers began and continued the entire performance. Rabus voice is eerily reminiscent of Piaf herself, with only the scratchy noise of an old recording missing.
Three musicians accompanied Rabu in telling a story of wartime France; the tragedy and passion of the country and of Piaf herself. As the accordion played one could see stone streets with cafes and cabarets. The music soared, from heart-wrenching to triumphant, but the songs were always of love.
Written by Rabu and Ted Galay, Tonight Piaf! shines some light on the rags to riches story of Edith Piafs life and how she came to sing as few others have.
The story ends with the "rien regret" that Piaf is famous for. Never regret. One felt the entire performance, and that is what Piaf was all about. Bravo.