Fifi Mondello - A Hard Man Is Good To Find
Review: Annie Dziadulewicz
From the moment Fifi Mondello stepped onto the stage, all eyes were on her. The seats in the small Casa Mondo venue are curved, so the audience members were all directly facing the cabaret singer, who didn't show a hint of nerves for the second night of her Fringe World show.
Preparing herself for a date, the self-confessed unlucky in love Sicilian lady takes the audience through her dating history, the good and the bad, the ugly and the sad. Anecdotes, both funny and heartbreaking, are sprinkled with tunes belted out by Mondello, her back-up singers and full band.
Mondello pulls out the stops to get the audience involved and singing along. One lady and three lads from the crowd became part of a dating game show, with some clever costumes to match, and one particularly lucky crowd member found himself in an awkward scene involving Mondello and too much Grand Marnier.
Mondello has a beautiful, strong voice that confidently sings well-loved hits from Nancy Sinatra, Lady Gaga and others, and some she penned herself. Without a hint of prudishness, Mondello changes costumes in front of the audience, but this physical nakedness seems like nothing compared to her talking about a particularly sad break-up, which got the audience leaning closer to hear what happened, and to hear Mondello bare her soul.
It's this comfort level and ability to let the audience in on some of the most intimate details of her life that really endears Mondello to the crowd. The clever script, performed fabulously by Mondello, some hilarious in-put from her back-up singers and band members and the great music made this a really entertaining show.
The audience was laughing along, jeering at descriptions of horror boyfriends and cheering at good ones, and Mondello herself seemed to have a ball.