Beth Klein’s Review
Yana Alana’s Melbourne Fringe offering was a hilarious romp featuring the cabaret diva like you’ve never seen her before.
Those familiar with Yana (aka Sarah Ward) may have been a little surprised by Yana Alana Covered, not just by the fact that she was fully clothed (most of the time), but by her mission – not to utter a single original word or express an original idea or sing an original song – thankfully she wasn’t able to achieve this all the time and snippets of the manic and outlandish ‘real’ Yana were revealed.
It’s no wonder that Yana Alana has won a Helpmann Award and eight Green Room Awards – she is a diva on steroids. Her incredible and powerful voice has a seemingly endless range and ability.
The show opened with a powerful and dramatic version of Propellerheads History Repeating (originally featuring Shirley Bassey). Other songs included Joy Division’s (appropriately named) She’s Lost Control, the Animals’ Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood and a haunting arrangement of the Beatle’s Strawberry Fields. Her attempt to perform modern pop songs by Taylor Swift and Beyonce were hilariously cut short.
Dramatically spoken song lyrics delivered like conversations or rants provided great laughs between songs and the odd costume change.
Her accompanists The Paranas — versatile percussionist Bec Mathews and Louise Goh on keyboards, piano accordion and guitar — were much more than musicians, antagonists and stage-hands.
Yana Alana is without a doubt the first lady of cabaret. Outlandish, bawdy and slightly unhinged, she is worthy of cult status.
Yana’s amazing hour of stimulating entertainment was performed at the Lithuanian Club for a limited season.