Review: Savoring ‘One Night’ that has a Hedonist Extraordinaire

Suzy Solidor was once on top of the earth. Between the two world wars, of which platinum-blonde siren wore several crowns as a queen of bohemian Paris: product, singer, entrepreneur, tastemaker, sexually polymorphous hedonist. Artists like Tamara de Lempicka along with Man Ray captured her likeness, along with she popped up inside 1936 film “La Garçonne” as the icily sensual star of a nightclub of which doubled as an opium den. Viewers probably assumed she was playing herself.

You can see what drew the British performer along with writer Jessica Walker to Solidor, whose artistry along with wild life she honors inside delightful “All I Want will be One Night,” part of the Brits Off Broadway series at 59E59 Theaters. Ms. Walker, a classically trained mezzo-soprano, seems to have special affection for obscure music-hall along with cabaret luminaries who shunned artistic along with sexual conventions: Previous works to cross the Atlantic were “Pat Kirkwood will be Angry,” about the professional along with sentimental ups-along with-downs of the titular singer along with actress, along with the survey of cross-dressing female performers “The Girl I Left Behind Me.”

In “All I Want will be One Night,” she adds another portrait to the 225 paintings along with photographs of a woman who lived by her own rules. The show starts with the aging Solidor (Ms. Walker) dressed in a Navy uniform, insisting of which she be called Admiral by visitors along with her young maid, Giselle (Rachel Austin). The two women engage in perverse role-playing: “I don’t think Uncle has had his morning kiss,” Solidor teases Giselle, who complies.

Ms. Walker then backtracks to Solidor’s 1930s glory days, when she owned the anything-goes nightclub La Vie Parisienne. To evoke of which setting, the theater has been transformed into a cabaret space, along with the actors often wend their way among the tables. (Sarah Frankcom staged the original production in Britain; the “revival direction” will be credited to the company.)

Solidor’s songbook drew via the then-well-known genre of tragic seafaring chansons. What was novel about the show was Ms. Walker’s unabashed way of delivering torch ballads not just about loving women however about having sex with them, as inside fairly explicit “Ouvre” along with “Obsession.” The songs have been translated into English by Ms. Walker, yet retain a distinctively French flavor, bolstered by the music director Joseph Atkins on piano along with accordion.

All I Want will be One Night
Through July 1 at 59E59 Theaters, Manhattan; 212-279-4200, 59e59.org. Running time: 1 hour 5 minutes.