Show pays tribute to legendary singer


French vocalist Nathalie Lhermitte is a natural fit to perform as Edith Piaf.

“I heard the voice of Edith Piaf at the age of 4,” Lhermitte said. “It was a very strong, emotional shock. The meaning of the words of her songs did not reach me. I was too young, but the truth in her voice reached me in the heart. When years after this role was proposed to me, I remembered this moment. It was decisive for my choice to accept this challenge.”

Lhermitte will perform in “Piaf! The Show” at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

The production is inspired by the award-winning film “La Vie en Rose.” The show celebrates the life and career of legendary French nightclub singer Piaf through her most popular songs. Lhermitte will be accompanied by live musicians and historical images for a multimedia audience experience.

“It is true that the role of Edith Piaf has been in my comedian life for a long time,” Lhermitte said. “I joined this great team of Directo Productions for two years already, and in order to celebrate the 60 years of its disappearance, the show has been expanded.”

Piaf died in 1963 at age 47. An autopsy wasn’t performed, but the suspected cause of death was liver failure attributed to liver cancer and cirrhosis.

“This show follows through the songs (that reflect) the spirit of the artist,” Lhermitte said. “Edith Piaf lived only for her songs. It was only natural for us that they live for her.”

The show, directed by French theater maverick Gil Marsalla, includes photos of Piaf and images of Parisian locations.

“The songs are mainly in French so that they keep their substance. However, there might be some surprises,” Lhermitte said. “’Mon dieu’ touches me a lot. It is what Edith Piaf has always followed, her faith, her faith in love.”

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