Review by Daz Gale
As she prepares to wrap up her time as Georgia Holt (Cher's mum) in The Cher Show, Tori Scott has snapped out of the role to treat London audiences to her latest cabaret show. Following her show Culture Shock in 2022, Tori returned to Crazy Coqs this week with her brand new show 'Tori With An i'.
In the beautifully intimate and swanky setting of The Crazy Coqs at London's Zedel ("I can't afford the cocktails here" commented Tori), Tori filled the stage with just Ben Papworth on the piano for accompaniment. She then treated a small audience to stories since she moved to the UK just over a year ago - often comedic, always gripping.
It was these stories that endeared Tori to the audience immediately. Whether it was the time she performed on a cruise with 5000 gay men ("Too many" as she brilliantly put it), her shock as she ventures around the country touring with The Cher Show in places she has never heard of and her attempts to meet a man on dating apps in every city she stops in.
Tori’s ability to tell a story with a punchline that has you howling every time is a testament to her charm. Naturally comedic, she easily manages to convey moments from her life as if she is talking to you one on one and ensures you hang on her every word. Lines such as how she has to defend her name living in the UK (which is why it is Tori with an i and not a Y) and a brutally honest yet unashamedly hilarious take on the cost of living crisis (“Should living be the bare f***ing minimum?” had me wishing this show wouldn’t ever end.
The other element to Tori’s fantastic rapport with the audience was her observations as an American who has taken the UK to her heart. Commenting on how at risk we are at losing the NHS she matter-of-factly told us we wouldn’t be able to cope with losing that as “You’re not still not over losing Woolworths” while lines about pronunciation of things and her realisation that crumpets were a real thing further embedded her in our hearts.
This wasn’t a stand up comedy show though. There was plenty of music on offer to showcase what a talented performer Tori is. From the opening number of ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ from Queen, Tori provided a versatile but consistently spectacular setlist, paying tribute to artists as varied as Elton John, No Doubt, Beyonce and Gloria Estefan.
Tori is blessed with a truly remarkable voice – the way she effortlessly manages to bring such beautiful interpretations of a setlist full of classics while snapping back and forth to comic moments really showcased the variety of talents she is blessed with. Among the musical highlights of the evening were a medley of 'Sweet Dreams' by both Eurythmics and Beyonce, a particularly funny 'I Touch Myself' and a fantastic version of Regina Spektor's 'Fidelity' all accompanied expertly by the wonderful musical direction of Ben Papworth,
This was a show full of unexpected moments and punchlines. Whether it be the unique way she left the venue after showing them all a picture of Matt Hancock on her phone (as you do) to her surprising references to B*Witched throughout the show, culminating in an audience singalong to their seminal classic ‘C’est La Vie’. This show was Tori’s equivalent to the meme “Im gonna give the gays everything they want” and I was living for every minute of it.
We were also treated to a special guest performance on the night (Christina Bianco guested the previous night) from her on stage daughter at The Cher Show – Cher herself, Danielle Steers. While they inexplicably don’t share any time together on stage during the show, that was rectified tonight though they played a very different relationship as they took on ‘Take Me Or Leave Me’ from Rent in a jaw-droppingly sensational performance showcasing both of their stunning singing voices.
Through a mix of music and comedy, it was hard not to fall in love with Tori and that is down to her personality. Absolutely wonderful to witness, she exuded life in a well crafted show that struck just the right level of chaos. If her last show won over critics and audiences alike, Tori with an I is set to do the same. While she joked early on she is about to be unemployed as The Cher Show wraps up its tour next month (Put it in the West End, you cowards!), I have no doubt Tori will continue to go on to great things once it wraps up. After all, with a show as fantastic as this, I do believe there will be plenty of life after The Cher Show for this phenomenally talented performer.
Keep an eye on http://www.itstoriscott.com/ for future performances of Tori with an i.