The Vaults (venue)
13 September 2019 (released)
14 September 2019
The story of Shida, a young girl growing up in the Bronx in the 1990’s, feels very much like both the personal story of a young woman with a strong character, a very loving and supportive mother and loyal friend, coping with the traumas and challenges that life brings and, at the same time, a story with a social resonance - typical of the circumstances, pressures and struggles of social poverty. The story is beautifully told as a musical, with lyrics and music by Jeannette Bayardelle, who does a solo performance, representing daughter, mother and friend. The performance is loving, memorable and breath-taking (literally, as Jeannette needs a break or two from the powerful vocal moments of virtuosity she displays as part of her performance). Her voice has power but also lyric nuance which it would be interesting to see more developed in other forms.
The drama that unfolds through the story line moves easily through the lyrics and music and Bayardelle’s performance is convincing, moving and powerful. This has very much the feel of an American story of success out of struggle – a story of redemption and regeneration. This was originally produced off Broadway and has now come to London for a two-week run. I wouldn’t miss it – Bayardelle is a talent who is worth watching in this superb performance and to keep watching her to see what interesting areas she choses next.