Forever Kirsten! From “Breakfast in Bed” to “Dinner with Dusty”

Posted: April 26, 2011 in Broadway, Cabaret, Culture, Entertainment, New York City, Nightlife, Performance, Theater, Theatre, Uncategorized
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The opus of Dusty Springfield has always occupied a special place in the cabaret arena; Heidi Mollenhauer was known for her exquisite rendering of “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” while a staple of Joel Silberman’s act was the original Italian, “Io Che Non Vivo.” Even this past season, chanteuse Kim Grogg executed an evening of Springfield songs and garnered a MAC nomination for Best Female Debut in the process. But easily trumping them all, and firmly pushing any other interpreters of the lady’s work far from the collective memory, is Kirsten Holly Smith. Her shows in March, at both Joe’s Pub in the East Village and Bob Egan’s New Hope in Bucks County, PA, were absolute smashes, and she has the chance to re-create that success this evening at 8:30 and again on May 3rd, in Dinner with Dusty, at the tony eatery Duane Park in Lower Manhattan, 157 Duane Street between West Broadway and Hudson Street.

Smith professes such an affinity for Dusty Springfield that she even put together a one-woman show with theatrical aspirations, entitled Forever Dusty! The show is angling for a run in a professional house, and seems a sure-fire winner, as much for the timelessness of the material as her uncanny physical and vocal resemblances to the late pop icon. Until that time, the club act more than suffices. Suffusing the packed house with energy just from the word go, Smith grabs the audience by the collective throat while warbling “Just a Little Lovin'” by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill, followed by the Top Ten hit “Wishin’ and Hopin’.” “Tell Him” is a bit of a surprise, and evokes shades of the old Motor Town Revues of the early 1960s, and she truly hits her stride with a flawless rendition of “Breakfast in Bed.” The highlight of the evening comes in the form of Tony Joe White’s funky story-song “Willie and Laura Mae Jones,” and of course “Son of a Preacher Man” is never anything less than supreme. And by the time Smith winds up the evening with the high-powered “Don’t Forget About Me” by Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the audience is hers forevermore. A top-notch quartet provides deft musical support, headed by the marvelous Michael Thomas Murray, and Smith couldn’t possibly have chosen two finer backup vocalists, namely Lindsey Holloway and Sasha Sloan.

Until Forever Dusty! finds its way to an Off-Broadway theatre at the very least, it couldn’t be more highly recommended to visit Duane Park this evening to catch Kirsten Holly Smith and Dinner with Dusty. There’s no cover, but dinner reservations are recommended, and can be had by calling 212-732-5555. You will ‘only want to be with her.’

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