A new "little sparrow" has landed. The French actress and singer Floanne Ankah presents the New York premiere of "Edith Piaf Alive and Living in New York" at the Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street, beginning Monday November 28 and playing once-monthly shows through March 17, 2012.
The French-born and New York-based Ankah infuses her daringly dramatic evocation of Piaf's art with a contemporary energy and rhythm. The result is that Ankah, 27, brings to life this musical icon of the mid-last-century in ways that are both authentic and original. With the collaboration of stage director Alice Jankell and musical director Rachel Kaufman, Ankah, supported by a three-piece band, takes us back to a Paris in the 40's and 50's churning with existentialism as if it were a place just outside our door.
Trained as an actress and singer under the mentorship of Jean Brassard and Daniel Isengart, Ankah is also training as a coloratura soprano under the watchful eye of April Evans. Ankah, herself a French farm girl whose own nomadic dreams have led her far from home, says she is reviving a tradition of French music hall as she embodies the melodies of Piaf, a child of the streets of Paris. Piaf died at age 47 in October 1963. Floanne Ankah's Web site is www.floanne.com
Backing Ankah are music director Rachel Kaufman on piano, Ray Parker on bass, Mario Monaco on percussion. Jankell, a New York-based director, worked for several years for Disney Theatrical Productions and was associate artistic director of the Williamstown Theater Festival.
Floanne Ankah performs "Edith Piaf Alive and Living in New York," twice in November - Monday November 28 at 7pm, Wednesday November 30 at 9:30pm -- and in monthly Saturday shows beginning in January - Saturday January 21 at 9:30pm, Saturday February 18 at 9:30pm and Saturday March 17 at 9:30pm. The music charge is $20. For reservations call 212/206-0440. For more information or to order online visit www.metropolitanroom.com.
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