Gig review: THE PUPPINI SISTERS – Garrick Theatre, 14 December 2014

Now jazz has to be my least favourite genre of music bar a little bit of swing and big band now and then. Luckily the Puppini Sisters won over my natural apathy for jazz! What a grand seeting too, in London’s Garrick theatre and in recent years has hosted musicals like ‘Let It Be’ and ‘Rock Of Ages’ so a suitable setting for an evening of Christmas themed music then.

The Puppini Sisters are a trio – Marcella Puppini, Kate Mullins and Emma Smith – who perform doo wop/light jazz/pop tunes and they are spot on with their vocals and harmonies. Backed by a three piece band and a four piece brass section on loan from another band, they belted through a series of classic tunes.

Plenty of festive songs including ‘Santa Baby’ and Wham’s ‘Last Christmas’, preceded by a risqué George Michael joke! The Puppini Sisters had a good onstage patter, with some witty one liners and helped/hindered by the fact the show times had to be adjusted by the theatre’s normal show having a matinee earlier in the day.

Really enjoyed their versions of ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (From Company B)’ (a cover of the Andrews Sisters classic) and ‘Mr. Sandman’, both featured the vocal harmonies they do so well and very accomplished musical backing.

It was like a mini-variety show too, as they had a dancing trio called the Bee’s Knees resplendent in 1930’s costumes, an entertaining magician and a ‘bendable man’, who lost his short but managed to keep his trousers on (much to the disappointment of the man behind me it has to be said). All were entertaining and added to the show, rather than prove a distraction.

The night closed with a jazzed up version of ‘Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend’ and then all the night performers took to the stage for a cover of Elton John’s ‘Step Into Christmas’. Not a great Christmas tune in my book but fair play they sprinkled their Christmas magic into their interpretation.

I’d highly recommend seeing the Puppini Sisters if you get the chance. Pure musical escapism and a damn fine show for (most!) ages.

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