PIAF! The Show Review — Full Throttle Sparrow

It’s the second act when the famed Piaf of memory struts on to the stage.  She is diminutive in stature, reminding of why she got the name The Sparrow. Her dress is black and somehow accentuates what we imagine is an arthritic spine.  Her hairstyle is midcentury. THE trademark awkward moves of arms that cling more to her side make us feel as though we have stepped into an oldie time newsreel.  She is Piaf!

This writer was likely not alone in feeling that chanteuse Nathalie Lermitte’s emergence in Piaf persona sated a deep craving.

We had been listening to Lermitte’s similar vocal renditions of the famed singer’s many torch songs, starting with Non, Je ne regrette rien (No, I regret nothing).

You could close your eyes and at times think that Lermitte was Piaf’s voice twin. 

Unlike Piaf, however, Lermitte’s small frame is put into service launching the songs like cannons in the large Town Hall auditorium.  Her wingspan emphasis of many lyrics and notes is almost as wide as her smile.  Unlike Piaf, Lermitte’s many costume changes let her sparkle in glamour.  

PIAF The Show is a Ticket to France

This is a francophone’s performance, especially in the first act when there is scarce translation.. There are French murmurs in the audience. We can’t tell who is tourist and who is local.  When Act II waxes in more singalong style, we begin to think everyone knows all Piaf songs by heart.  

This is a tightly rehearsed show, with four musicians accompanying Lermitte — piano (Philippe Villa) , drums (Benoit Pierron), double bass (Giliard Lopes), and accordion (Frederic Viale).  Accordionist Viale’s talent was spotlighted in a solo where his fast fingering and masterful handling of his bellows kept us transfixed.  For this reviewer, this solo went the longest way in helping us forget the size of The Town Hall and instead imagine we are in a cabaret space. 

The standing ovation in the penultimate number confuses a bit—apparently for Lermitte as well.   As the chords to La Vie en Rose begin to fill the hall, she asks us if we really thought that song would be left out? 


When you attend Piaf! The Show, plan time to feed your increased appetite for Piaf music with Youtube explorations the next day, or if you are lucky, time for dusting off your old vinyls.

Visit the webpage for Piaf! The Show for more information.

The tour for PIAF! continues worldwide until its return to Paris just before Xmas in 2025.  Check out this listing of PIAF tour dates and venues.


Photos by Xiù , courtesy of PIAF! The Show.


Amy Munice

About the Author: Amy Munice

Amy Munice is Editor-in-Chief and Co-Publisher of Picture This Post. She covers books, dance, film, theater, music, museums and travel. Prior to founding Picture This Post, Amy was a freelance writer and global PR specialist for decades—writing and ghostwriting thousands of articles and promotional communications on a wide range of technical and not-so-technical topics.

Amy hopes the magazine’s click-a-picture-to-read-a-vivid-account format will nourish those ever hunting for under-discovered cultural treasures. She especially loves writing articles about travel finds, showcasing works by cultural warriors of a progressive bent, and shining a light on bold, creative strokes by fledgling artists in all genres.


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