It doesn’t take long when cabaret artist Adrienne Haan sails into the Weill-Brecht “Pirate Jenny” to see that she is a highly individualistic cabaret artist. She intensely enacts the song with a jaunty flair that’s different from the usual as she stresses Jenny’s sassiness and the pleasure of getting back at the world that has been oppressing her. She also gives flashes of amusement she finds in her triumphant revenge, all the while impressing with her strong voice.
It also becomes clear in her show titled “Berlin, mon amour” that Haan, who hails from Germany, is well-equipped to perform virtually anywhere in the world. She is truly the international cabaret chanteuse. For starters, in the New York performance I saw, she looked striking in her black, loose-fitting mini-dress, allowing for emphasis on her long, sturdy legs. She gets mileage out of flashing a cigarette holder to emphasize sexy sophistication. Her short blonde hair style suits her image.
Her repertoire reveals her range, as she is comfortable singing in French, German, English and even Yiddish. Haan strikes poses to emphasize lyrics, and she constantly injects playfulness into her numbers. At times descending from the stage, she is adept at passing among the audience members and singling out someone to whom to sing. (I got my hair mussed as she passed by me.) Nothing new in that, but Haan does it all with sexy aplomb.
He program included a “Berlin Cabaret Medley,” a “Women’s Medley”, a “Medley of the Homosexuals,” a “Kurt Weill Medley”.and a “Klezmer Medley.” She did justice to the popular “Lili Marleen” and also to Brel’s “Amsterdam.” She even showed that she could handle a medley of American standards, although I couldn’t see the point of including ”Over the Rainbow,” as it is so difficult to overshadow the Garland memory. But the American medley further demonstrated her ease and range.
Haan colorfully recaptured the aura of German cabaret at various intervals, going back to the post-World War I Weimar Republic days. Haan is an exciting artist on the rise and she knows how to give an audience a good time with her uniqueness and her strong ability to communicate appealingly in various languages. Her musical director and pianist Richard Danley merits high praise for his ability to accompany her impressively for such an enormous and demanding range of material. Reviewed at the Laurie Beechman Theatre, 407 West 42nd Street. Phone: 212-695-6909.