Paris After Dark

AAR-TST-Paris-After-DarkSydney based, Mauritian-Australian entertainer, Milko Foucault-Larche has forged a formidable international reputation performing around the world in spectacular revues and French language cabaret.

He now produces and presents his own shows and Paris After Dark at The Street Theatre is his first foray into Canberra. Judging by the audience response to this presentation, it won’t be his last.

For those with a penchant for French cabaret songs, Paris After Dark certainly delivered what it promised. A cavalcade of popular French songs French cabaret songs made famous by the likes of Edith Piaf, Gilbert Becaud, Yves Montand, Charles Trenet and Josephine Baker delivered with panache by Foucault-Larche and his glamorous associate artist, Parisian born singer/dancer Corinne Andrew.

Tastefully lit, The Street Theatre stage had been transformed to suggest a French café. Two small tables covered with check tablecloths helped create an inviting intimate ambience, especially when one or other of the artists retired to them while the other occupied the spotlight.

Foucault-Larche and Andrew set the tone with a wide-ranging medley, accompanied by Nick Bavarelli on keyboard and Isabella Brown on double bass, which left the audience wondering whether there had been any French song left unsung.

But there were, plenty, and each was performed by the impeccably costumed artists bringing their own unique take on a series of duets and solos, sung in both French and English and preceded by a brief introduction explaining the origin of each song.

How interesting to hear two songs made famous by Shirley Bassey, It Must Be Him and What Now My Love, sung as intended by their composer Gilbert Becaud by Corinne Andrew and Milko Foucault-Larche.

Then later, Josephine Baker’s haunting J’ai 2 Amours interpreted by Andrew, and Padam, Padam, made famous by Edith Piaf, stylishly performed by Foucault-Larche to the rousing accordion accompaniment of Nick Bavarelli, who also contributed a delightful accordion medley in the second half to which the audience spontaneously sang along.

Particular highlights in an outstanding program were Andrew’s thrilling performance of the Cuban tongue-twister, Tico Tico; and the real Parisian authenticity Foucault-Larche brought to his renditions, especially the Charles Aznavour classics, She and La Boheme, the second of which he sang in duet with Andrew.

Milko Foucalt-Larche has promised to bring more of his productions to the Street Theatre in 2023. If you’re a lover of French cabaret the advice is book early because Foucalt-Larche’s the real deal.

Paris After Dark
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers Street, Canberra City West
Performance: Sunday 27 November 2022

Image: Nick Bavarelli, Corinne Andrew, Milko Foucault-Larche and Isabella Brown in Paris After Dark (supplied)

Review: Bill Stephens OAM