Another hilarious night at The Crazy Coqs with satirical Goddess Melinda Hughes and her special guest the outrageously funny Lenny Beige. Together they created a chemistry which produced energy and warmth in the room so that by the end an otherwise reticent audience was singing along to Sweet Caroline with uninhibited abandon. It was exhilarating stuff and really rocked the Crazy Coqs. A joyful evening which got everyone lucky enough to be there into the holiday mood.
Melinda was classy, sexy and spot on the money. She looked fabulous and performed with her usual wit, humour and style. In her rendition of Hipster Girl she showed her talent for telling a complete story in under three minutes, with a range of tempo, gestures and facial expressions. Her bunny boiler eye stare at the grisly finale is grotesquely comic. Her newest song Take Me Up the Octave is deliciously provocative and full of double entendres. And when she changes gear and sings in full operatic mode her phenomenal talent is obvious for all to see. It’s as if Barbara Streisand had been combined with Maria Callas.
Last night Melinda invited Lenny Beige to join her in a special Christmas show. I’ve never seen him before. He is seriously funny – a complete nut case. With a black wig which he said was fire resistant and so rigid it also acts as a helmet. His thick black eyebrows and sideburns, along with a ridiculous red and blue check jacket gave him a look which just shouted I’m a pollock and I know it. He had a winning way of sending himself up. He quoted a critic from the Daily Mail who said about him that never in the history of light entertainment had so many been entertained by such a Jew. Laughing at his own Jewishness became the evenings recurring motif. He was full on hilarious with his one-liners, “Why”, he asked, “do Jewish husbands die before their wives?” “Because they want to.”
His ace card was his effortless ability to get the audience on side. His rapport and audience interaction was a masterclass in how to engage and entertain. He picked out individual members of the audience and spoke to them directly. He advised a man wearing a jacket that he ought to take it off otherwise he won’t get the benefit when he goes outside. His impressions of Neil Diamond, the Jewish Elvis , were impressive. Not surprising given he has been performing a tribute show to the great man for many years. As I have mentioned his rendition of Sweet Caroline had everyone singing along.
Together, Melinda and Lenny performed some delightful duets or as Lenny rephrased them “Jewets”. The highlight was a recreation of Neil Diamond and Barbara Streisand singing You Don’t Bring Me Flowers Anymore. The comic contrast between Melinda’s romantic pleading and Lenny’s deadpan put downs was spot on. For me, this was my dream evening: sophisticated comedy with plenty of jokes and puns, great songs sung by performers who love to entertain and backed up by a great band. I have no doubt that Melinda and Lenny will be much in demand in 2020. Watch this space.
Review by John O’Brien
Musical comedian, Melinda Hughes, backed by her live band, presents a fun-packed Christmas cracker of a show with special guest Lenny Beige. A musical extravaganza of satirical quips, classy cabaret, sassy swing and seasonal duets all sprinkled with a touch of Beige.
Mel and Lenny’s Christmas Ding Dong
Friday 20th December 2019