Friday, May 25, 2012

The Sparrow and the Mouse

The Sparrow and the Mouse: Creating the Music of Edith Piaf was a solo Fringe show by Melanie Gall from Ottawa Canada. She performed as Edith Piaf's half sister Simone. A black and white photo of Edith sat on the dressing table along with an accordion. I just knew of Edith's beautiful singing from a scene in Saving Private Ryan. Edith and Simone's friendship spanned 25 years. Simone was raised by prostitutes. The two grew up poor together and they earned enough to by a scrap of bread by singing on the streets of Paris. Edith always dreamed of making it big with her singing. They worked in a club where Edith performed as a leading singer, but Simone had to dress in a slinky burlesque outfit when she sang for the men. Money was so tight that they shared the same bed.

Edith's tempestuous passions lead to her having a child which wasn't great for business. Melanie gave a hilarious performance where she tried to sing for change as a baby in her arms cried. Edith was eventually discovered by a talent agent who saw her singing on the streets of Paris. He insisted she change her name to Piaf which means sparrow.  At first she didn't like the name, but joking with Simone, she said, "If I am a sparrow, you are the mouse." These artists lead a tragic life with simple pleasures. Men came and went, but their friendship endured. Having seen The Sparrow and the Mouse, I now understand the deep yearning sadness in Edith Piaf's voice. Melanie's singing performances were memorable, yet I always yearned to understand the French lyrics. Time to learn French. I'll put that on my bucket list.

Show times:
Saturday May 26th at 6:00PM
Sunday May 27th at 11:30AM

The show is in the blue venue. Tickets are $11.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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