The challenge in telling the story of Etta James is conveying the passion of the performance. The producers at Room 8 Productions knew an actor wasn’t going to achieve. Picking Vika Bull to tell the Etta James story was the perfect choice.
The voice of Vika Bull is pure soul. Her voice is the closest any Australian has come to sounding like she grew up in Harlem instead of Mudgee.
The Etta James story is as tragic as it was successful. While many have only heard the great songs like ‘At Last’, ‘Tell Mama’, ‘I’d Rather Go Blind’ and ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You’, the woman behind those songs was often drugged, drunk and broken.
‘At Last: The Etta James Story’ goes in deep to tell the whole story with Vika taking on the role as narrator, not acting the singer.
Backed by The Essential R&B Band, featuring Vika’s husband John Watson and led by musical director John McAll, the songs of Etta James have an authenticity that enhances Vika’s performance.
The audience remained captivated throughout the entire performance, leaving the theatre with a depth of knowledge and understanding that they would not have known about Etta James before.
Room8 Productions have previously given us insight into the lives of Bon Scott, Gram Parsons, Eva Cassidy, John Denver and Johnny Cash. Like the productions before, ‘The Etta James Story’ is an honest yet revealing biography of a great artist.
Sydney will be treated to the production at the Sydney Opera House from April 30 to May 5.
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Vika Bull and John McAll perform songs from At Last at Noise11.com
Watch the Vika Bull Noise11 interview