The Hollywood Reporter: Review


Pia Zadora Makes Her L.A. Debut in ‘Pia Reloaded’: Concert Review

Bouncing back from brain trauma after an accident last fall, the controversial eighties performer delivers a spirited mix of Vegas, banter and Broadway.

Following her controversial Golden Globe win for Butterfly in 1982, Pia Zadora became the punchline of the decade. A New York Times reviewer likened her to Brigitte Bardot recycled through a kitchen compactor, and Johnny Carson once referred to her as “the next Rula Lenska!” No doubt about it, Zadora took her hits through the years, even though she had a promising career as a child actor, starring opposite stage legend Tallulah Bankhead at the age of 6, and a few years later joining the original cast of Fiddler on the Roof as the youngest daughter, Bielke.

As she grew into adulthood, her acting career sputtered until she met millionaire businessman, Meshulam Riklis, who was 30 years her senior. Following her Golden Globe win for Butterfly, a movie he financed that few had seen, rumors that he bought her the award effectively ended her acting career. So, Zadora concentrated on her singing career, with Riklis securing her the opening slot for Frank Sinatra. In the years that followed, she achieved some level of critical and commercial success singing standards.

Pia Reloaded is the title of her new show, which she joked might have been called Pia Zadora — Still Alive. It could be taken as a comment on her career longevity, but in a literal sense it brings to mind a horrible golf cart accident in 2014 that left her with three fractures in her ankle and bleeding in and around her brain.

Less than a year later, she took the stage without a limp at Hollywood’s Catalina Bar and Grill to make her Los Angeles debut. Wearing a gold-sequined Bob Mackie dress and carrying a rhinestone-encrusted microphone, Zadora launched into “But Alive” from the musical, Bye Bye Birdie, an upbeat tune that demonstrated both her infectious spirit and the limits of her vocal skills.

As the evening wore on, she eased into her set and managed noteworthy passages, particularlyLeonard Bernstein’s, “Some Other Time,” as well as the Gershwin classic, “Summertime,” where she employed inventive and unexpected phrasing to make the songs her own. Torch songs like theJudy Garland classic, “The Man That Got Away” and Kander and Ebb’s “New York, New York” gave her a chance to belt it out with brio, but while Zadora sings with plenty of heart, her belting is often breathy, and vague with vibrato.

The set list is fruited with numerous classics as well as a few obscure numbers. Combined, they form an unusual sort of showbiz curricula vitae, giving the candidate a chance to demonstrate a wide range of styles, from jazz to bossa nova to Broadway to opera. There’s even a “rock ‘n roll” number performed in hot pants and a biker jacket. Seeded throughout are pertinent career facts combining anecdotes, film clips (including her Golden Globe acceptance, as well as her nude layout in Ouimagazine), and some self-effacing humor. And hair tossing, she likes to toss her hair.

In short, Pia Reloaded is a bit of a bizarre evening, but in a good way. It features entertaining elements of camp and nostalgia, and the woman herself, who, at 62, embodies a mythological showbiz ethos of endurance and fortitude. Joining Zadora on stage is Vinnie Falcone, Sinatra’s bandleader from 1976 to 1980, and again in 1985-1986. His five-piece band, including bass, guitar, drum and himself on piano, combines for a lounge-like musical backdrop that fits easily with Zadora’s infectious personality. At worst, Pia Reloaded feels like a damn good night at a karaoke bar. At best, it’s like watching an old friend brazenly bounce back and lay it on the line. It’s hard not to cheer her on.

Source: Hollywood Reporter


Pia Zadora – Reloaded performance

Review: Pia Zadora – Reloaded

Pia Zadora. The name brings immediate recognition to those over a certain age: The wild and crazy girl who married rich and was partially famous for being famous (Some things never change, do they?). But she actually comes with some pedigree. Long before her married life, she was on Broadway (Fiddler on the Roof, no less!), and you may be surprised to learn that she was nominated for a Grammy and won a Golden Globe (Best New Star of the year, 1982).

At age 60, Pia Zadora jumps on-stage with a verve and energy that matches an excited 6 year old, allowed to perform for the first time. She not only looks fantastic, but she excites the room with a sparkling personality (to match her celebrated sparkling dress). She is definitely a seasoned entertainer that knows how to work a room.

One of the nicest things about watching her is her comedic, self-effacing banter. She knows who she is, and what her reputation brings – and meets it all head on. She flagrantly throws her credits around, but at the same time, is smart enough to laugh at them. Even when talking about her age. For example, she discusses the name of the show, “Reloaded,” saying that they were thinking about calling it what people might really think: “Pia Zadora – Still Alive.” It’s moments like these that bring a laugh to the audience and a fondness for what otherwise could be a one-dimensional character.

With an incredible band (several members used to play for Sinatra) and tons of energy, Pia Zadora hits Cabaret on the head with guns blazing. Check her out in New York and around the country, especially in Las Vegas.


Broadway World

Pia Zadora Visits HERE LIES LOVE

Photo Flash: Pia Zadora Visits HERE LIES LOVE!

Last Friday, as part of Summer Fridays at Here Lies Love, Pia Zadora stopped by to see the show and hang out with the cast on her day off from her show at the Metropolitan Room, Pia Reloaded. Check out photos of Pia with the cast below!

HERE LIES LOVE opened on May 1st at the Public Theater’s LuEsther Hall for an open-ended commercial run. The principal cast from the 2013 world premiere of Here Lies Love returns, includingRuthie Ann Miles and Jose Llana as Imelda and Ferdinand Marcos, and Conrad Ricamora as Ninoy Aquino.

Under the direction of Alex Timbers, Here Lies Love played a critically raved-about, sold-out run last year at the same space, which was extended by popular demand four times. Here Lies Love was conceived by David Byrne, and features lyrics by Byrne, music by Byrne and Fatboy Slim, additional music by Tom Gandey and J Pardo, and choreography by Annie-B Parson.

Within a pulsating dance club atmosphere, David Byrne and Fatboy Slim deconstruct the astonishing journey of Filipina First Lady Imelda Marcos retracing her meteoric rise to power and subsequent descent into infamy and disgrace at the end of the People Power Revolution. Here Lies Love is neither a period piece nor a biography, neither a play nor a traditional musical, but an immersive theatrical event combining songs influenced by four decades of dance music, adrenaline-fueled choreography, and a remarkable 360-degree scenic and video environment to celebrate Imelda’s meteoric rise to political prominence and subsequent tragic consequences of her well-documented abuse of power.


Times Square Chronicle

Pia Zadora Bob Mackie Dressed the Singer

Stephen Sorokoff My View: Bob Mackie Dressed the Singer & The Mic – This Could Go Either Way..Pia Zadora

One thing for certain, I knew the music director/arranger/pianist (Vinnie Falcone), Joe Lano on guitar, Bob Sachs on bass, Mike Mechem on drums and David Arana on keyboards, would produce some of the best music ever heard in the Metropolitan Room. The award winning director Jeff Kutash would shape an extraordinary show.

The ambience of the Metropolitan Room would bring me back to the excitement of Las Vegas. However, did the expensive sequined fabric on Pia Zadora and the microphone signify a tacky show or a spectacular one comparable to a Liza experience?

Pia is utterly exciting, beautiful, musical, thrilling, enchanting, and puts on one of the most entertaining evenings I’ve had in a club this year.

She has the history, the career, the acting and vocal ability, the showmanship and the engaging personality which make “Pia Reloaded” a must see. As they say, everyone got their monies worth at this one, and based upon what I saw happening with lights and sound on stage I know Pia got her monies worth. One thing for sure, she received plenty of love and admiration from the audience.

Source: Times Square Chronicle