About the Show



Born on the side of a road in Russia as her mother fled oppression, Sophie Tucker rose above personal challenge and social prejudice to rule the American stage. Entertainment as we know it today would look much dimmer without her chutzpah, style, and determination. Mae West, Fanny Brice, Elaine Stritch, Phyllis Diller, Bette Midler, Madonna … even Lady Gaga all owe their careers to her trailblazing career through the early 20th century.


Like today’s groundbreaking female artists, Sophie Tucker was a strong, clever, independent woman. A talented singer and comedienne, she was also a brilliant businesswoman who did not hesitate to reinvent herself in the face of the emergent popular musical trends of the 1920’s, 30s, 40s, and beyond. There is no other artist who not only survived the ‘death of Vaudeville’, but who went on to conquer Jazz, Broadway, Burlesque and Hollywood.


Red Hot Mama: A Sophie Tucker Cabaret is written and directed by Erik de Waal and dramaturged by Eva Marie Clarke. The music was developed by Melanie Gall in collaboration with Jazz pianist Bennett Paster; Gall and Paster wrote new settings for many of the songs and incorporated musical themes and styles spanning the Vaudeville world of 1910 and the roaring Twenties, through to the Big Band and Jazz sounds of the 1940s.


Red Hot Mama: A Sophie Tucker Cabaret is unique because it tells the story of Sophie Tucker’s beginnings.  This show delves into her personal life – her feelings as she abandoned her home life and family in her rise to fame and her lifelong search for love.  It presents new settings of Sophie’s greatest hits, as well as some of her double-entendre songs that haven’t been performed for decades.


Red Hot Mama: A Sophie Tucker Cabaret has been performed in festivals and theatres throughout Canada and the USA, with upcoming performances in Europe and the UK.