Elton John has always been my favorite rock ‘n’ roller. I saw his memorable 1975 three-hour concert at Dodger Stadium along with more than 50,000 other fans. How could I resist seeing a Hollywood Fringe Festival show entitled The Bitch is Back: An Elton John Cabaret? I couldn’t. Skypilot Theatre Company presented the 70-minute show at Three Clubs that featured five women, with pleasant if not stellar voices, singing more than a dozen very familiar songs—everything from “Bennie and the Jets” to “Crocodile Rock” to “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” Chloejane Busick, Erisa Evelyn Byrd, Kelly Goodman, Marie Pettit and Tina Walsh each got at least one solo spot as well as joining in on the many group numbers. The audience was encouraged to sing along and they did on many of the numbers.
Unfortunately the show was performed to tracks that sounded more Muzak than Elton. What this did accomplish was highlighting the utter beauty and majesty of the poetic lyrics by Bernie Taupin. Their ballads such as “Your Song,” “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word,” and “Tiny Dancer” fared best. The show was better when the ladies ditched the tracks and went acoustic with “Rocket Man”. For the finale, the ladies got into their glam rock best outfits, complete with over-sized and overly sequined eyeglasses, for a rousing rendition of “I’m Still Standing” which they followed up with an equally raucous rendition of the show’s title song.