It ain’t over til the old lady sings
Lynns Ruths own style of Prize winning camp caberet
Incorporating her own joie-de-vivre stories of life when your body heads south and your legs won’t take you anywhere much, and tailored lyrics to a collection of songs in which the audience is encouraged to sing along with the chorus, this is by turns laugh out loud funny and touching to the core as we’re reminded without sentiment of the bare fact of mortality.
A cabaret star with a grin and class, all the way from Ohio.
5/5 – Victoria Nangle – The Latest Brighton
I don’t think there’s a critic in the land who would be brave (or foolish) enough to have a pop at Lynn R. Miller. If you weren’t hunted down by the audience in a baying betrayed pack then Ms Miller would creep up on you, all smiles and soft lavender smells and then slice you into thin little fleshy ribbons with that deceptively sharp tongue of hers, tie you into little bows with her ‘so sweet it can’t be real’ rapier asides and then stamp her little hooved feet all over your ungrateful carcass. I imagine she might then skin you; she not being someone to waste anything and being such a eco-gran, a geri-green, an original make do and mender, construct a rather fetching box out of you to keep her condoms in.
Most of you are familiar with the facts about Lynn (her age, her background) but it’s her fiction that really fascinated me. How she’s a sweet old lady and kind of just bumbling around the festival world. She may well indeed be sweet but to tour the ruthless world of international festivals and hit the headlines time after time you need to be made of Granite, and this is Granny Granites secret, she has a beautifully carved heart of stone and she uses that hard surface to sharpen her tongue on, to grind down the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune into a fine flour that she then bakes into seemingly innocent little cakes, and also to weigh her down and stop her tiny form floating off. God likes granite, like Miller it lasts a long time.
Miller can come across as a bit of a twee lightweight for a moment, then she throws out one of her asides and bring the house down. Sing-along (as everyone does) and she’s happy, make her cross (who would be so mean?) and its wrath time. I loved every single moment of being in her company, she was inspirational, motivating, delicate, vivacious, effervescing and when stamping her foot and singing that ‘she’d written the book on love’ utterly believable. Millers voice and lyrics are not her strong point, but hey this broad is 76 years old, cut her some slack but SHE is her strong point. Dispensing anecdote, ruthless jokes about ageing (you’re laughing now! But -sotto voice- just you wait) and some serious thought provoking moments all wrapped up in sing-a-long-a show tunes that are subtly rewritten, her version, complete with chemotherapy blond wig, of Monroe’s ‘Spandex is a broads best friend’ was funny and kept me humming all the way home.
She uses the blast furnace of her life to gently boil down the huge amount of experience in the crucible of her mind to leave us all with disarming golden nuggets that threaten our ideas of what is important and remind us that each precious moment is worth wringing every drop of life out of! She shows us, vividly, that life gets better as you get older, and teaches us, in her sneaky way, that being naughty is ok. That being you, is ok.
Miller is an antediluvian diva, who has allowed the soft bodies of the days of her life to settle in her vast ocean of experience, the weight of time turning them into limestone and flint that she uses to carve marvels out of, strike sparks from and gives her an edge, so thin and sharp that you won’t even feel it go in.
Go, know joy, just watch out for the obsidian tongue!
By Eric Page
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