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Photo: Heather Sullivan

                                                                         The Dean of Divas Raises The Bar at The  Legendary Oak Room

Being the capital of cabaret, New York City has no shortage of world class cabaret performers. In a medium where the dolls outnumber the guys, KT SULLIVAN has established herself as the ultimate doll and dean of the divas of “The Great American Song Book.”

Her new act at the Oak Room proves to be her best ever. The material and carefully crafted patter flow in a stream on steroids from the lesser and (better known) songs of Kay Swift, including an especially poignant “Can’t We Be Friends,” through a rollicking version of Carolyn Leigh’s “The Best is Yet To Come, the ultimate camp rendition of” Mary Rodgers “The Boy From …,” and surprising interpretations of Edna Pinkard’s “Kitchen Man,” Peggy Lee’s “He’ll Make Me Believe He’s Mine,” Carole King’s “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” and Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You,”

It all began with her acclaimed salute to Dorothy Fields, who set the standard for female songwriters. In “Rhyme, Women & Song,” KT Sullivan expands her vision to display the work of Dorothy’s peers and heirs who have enriched the Great American Songbook. Sullivan contrasts the inimitable Dorothy’s “Sunny Side of the Street,”with an amazing take on “Good Morning Heartache,” that rivals the gold standard set by Billie Holiday, who introduced it in 1946.

An hilarious closing medley of 29 cleverly linked songs (“my age” Sullivan says as a throwaway), concludes with a subtle and sensitive rendition of Jerome Kern’s and Dorothy Fields eternally lovely “The Way You Look Tonight.”

Ms. Sullivan has never been in better voice and her dramatic range, comedic timing and versatility  shine.

The amazing Jon Weber is musical arranger and accompanist., while John Webber(with an “h” and 2 “bs”) admirably assists on bass, giving Sullivan outstanding backup.

Not only is The Oak Room New York’s most consistent cabaret experience, it is also a genuine bargain. The show, including a three course dinner (food has improved markedly over the years) is about the price of a ticket to the anemic offerings on Broadway. And besides a venue steeped in history, you may be one of the fortunates who get a glimpse of Matilda, the latest in a chain of indomitable felines.

Shows are Tuesday through Thursday at 8:30 and Friday and Saturday at 8:30 and 11. There is a $50 cover charge for weeknight and late shows and $60 for early shows Friday and Saturday, plus either a $30 food and beverage minimum or $60 prix fixe dinner. Reservations: 212 419 9331 or bmcgurn@algonquinhotel.com.

 

Disclosure

Copyright 2011 By Punch In International. All Rights Reserved

 

 

KT SULLIVAN’s RHYME, WOMEN and SONG:

ALGONQUIN HOTEL OAK ROOM – MAY 3 – 28, 2011

TITLE:

AUTHORS:

[KAY SWIFT OVERTURE]:

A) CAN THIS BE LOVE?

(introduced by Alice Bouldon in the1930 Broadway musical: “Fine And Dandy”

Kay Swift (m) / Paul James (w)

B) CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?

(introduced by Libby Holman in the 1929 Broadway musical: “The First Little Show”

Kay Swift (m) / Paul James (w)

C) FINE AND DANDY

(introduced by Alice Bouldon in the1930 Broadway musical: “Fine And Dandy”

Kay Swift (m) / Paul James (w)

[MEDLEY]: A) DON’T LET A GOOD THING GET AWAY (1983)

Michael Leonard (m) / Carolyn Leigh (w)

B) THE BEST IS YET TO COME (1959)

Cy Coleman (m) / Carolyn Leigh (w)

C) ON THE SUNNY SIDE OF THE STREET (1930)

(introduced in the 1930 Broadway Musical: “Lew Leslie’s International Revue”)

Jimmy McHugh (m) / Dorothy Fields (w)

D) ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS (1962)

(introduced by Virginia Martin in the 1962 Broadway Musical: “Little Me”)

Cy Coleman (m) / Carolyn Leigh (w)

SAGEBRUSH LULLABY

(introduced by Irene Dunne in the 1950 movie: “Never A Dull Moment”)

Kay Swift (m/w)

CAN’T WE BE FRIENDS?

(introduced by Libby Holman in the 1929 Broadway Musical: “The First Little Show”)

Kay Swift (m) / Paul James (w)

THE BOY FROM …..

(introduced by Linda Lavin in the 1966 off-Broadway Musical: “The Mad Show”)

Mary Rodgers (m) / Stephen Sondheim (w)

MY SORT OF EX-BOYFRIEND

(introduced by Becky Gelke in the 1985 Musical: “To Whom It May Concern”)

Carol Hall (m/w)

HOW AM I TO KNOW?

(introduced in the 1929 movie: “Dynamyte”)

Jack King (m) / Dorothy Parker (w)

I CAN COOK TOO

(introduced by Nancy Walker in the 1944 Broadway Musical: “On The Town”)

Leonard Bernstein (m)

Adolph Green & Betty Comden (w)

[MEDLEY]: A) GOOD MORNING HEARTACHE

(introduced in 1946 by Billie Holiday on DECCA)

Dan Fisher & Irene Higginbotham (m)

Ervin Drake (w)

B) WHERE DO YOU START? (1987)

Johnny Mandel (m)

Alan & Marilyn Bergman (w)

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES (1934)

(Cuando Vuelva A Tu Lado)

María Grever (m/Spanish words)

Stanley Adams (English words)

HE’LL MAKE ME BELIEVE THAT HE’S MINE

(introduced by Peggy Lee in the 1983 Broadway Musical: “Peg”)

Paul Horner (m) / Peggy Lee (w)

DREAMING

(introduced on the 1986 CD “Dreaming” )

Amanda McBroom (m/w)

WHEN THE CHILDREN ARE GONE

(introduced on the 2009 double-CD: “Life In The Years”)

Vivien Wolsk (m/w)

PLEASE DON’T SEND ME DOWN A BABY BROTHER

(introduced by Shirley Booth in the 1954 Broadway Musical: “By The Beautiful Sea”)

Arthur Schwartz (m) / Dorothy Fields (w)

IT AMAZES ME (1958)

(introduced by Mabel Mercer)

Cy Coleman (m) / Carolyn Leigh (w)

A CASE OF YOU

(introduced on the 1971 LP “Blue” )

Joni Mitchell (m/w)

KITCHEN MAN

(introduced in 1926 by Bessie Smith)

Edna B. Pinkard (m) / Andy Razaf (w)

CLOSING MEDLEY [separate sheet]

[ENCORE]: A) WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW?

(introduced in 1961 by “The Shirelles”)

Carole King (m) / Gerry Goffin (w)

B) THE WAY YOU LOOK TONIGHT (1936)

(Academy Award winner – introduced in the 1936 film: “Swing Time”)

Jerome Kern (m) / Dorothy Fields (w)

JON WEBER: MUSICAL DIRECTOR / JOHN WEBBER: BASS

___________________________________________________________________

KT Sullivan’s Broadway shows include George Abbott’s Broadway, Threepenny Opera with Sting and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She appeared in the national company of Annie Get Your Gun, in workshop of Easter Parade with Tommy Tune and received Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Award nominations. She received a MAC Award for American Rhapsody: George Gershwin to the World and most recently the prestigious Mabel Mercer Award. Regionally, she has appeared at the Old Globe Theatre, the Hartford Stage Company, Municipal Opera in St. Louis and Goodspeed Opera House. Recent local appearances include Carnegie Hall with Michael Feinstein and Neue Gallerie in two bi-lingual shows, a salute to Greta Keller (who opened the Oak Room in 1939) and the tour de force “Vienna To Weimar.” Among her many CDs is “Swell Party…R.s.v.p. Cole Porter”