Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Victoria Lauzun is Piaf

By Skip Sheffield

Women are at the forefront of two new plays that opened this week in Delray Beach.
“Piaf” is a dramatization of the life of French torch singer Edith Piaf. This play with music runs through Dec. 14 at Delray Square Performing Arts, 4809 W. Atlantic Ave. at Military Trail.
There is a romantic, idealized view of the tragic chanteuse, and Edith Piaf certainly fits that description.
The best thing about “Piaf,” a 1978 Tony Award-winning play by Pam Gems, is its star, Victoria Lauzin. Ms. Lauzun embodies the soul of the “little sparrow,” who was born in 1915 and died of liver disease in 1963 at age 47. This comes as no surprise, considering Piaf’s reckless lifestyle. Piaf was the embodiment of “live fast, die young.”
“Every damn fool thing you do in this life you pay for,” were her famous last words. Yet “Piaf” is not a downer. It is more a salute to an indomitable spirit, known by her signature song “La Vie en Rose.”
While that rosy song is what is most people associate with Edith Piaf, my favorite is "Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien" (No, I Regret Nothing). No, me neither.
Playing Edith's best gal pal and confidante Toine is Courtney Poston, familiar to patrons of Boca Raton's Slow Burn Theatre Company.
Like Edith, Toine is a woman of "easy virtue" in a demi-monde of seedy characters.
Providing super-human musical support is pianist Phil Hinton, who is obscured onstage behind a panel. Musical Director Hinton is at least as important as the characters. I think he should be front, if not center, but that decision is up to director Gary Waldman, who also plays Leplee and a doctor and contributed English lyrics to the French songs.
With the exception of Victoria Anderson as famed cabaret singer Josephine Baker, the rest of the cast is young and a bit uneven. But hey it's live theater in a converted movie fourplex, and if Edith Piaf is your thing, this is well worth a look.
Tickets are $37.50 ($30 group). Call 561-880-0319 or go to

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