KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar: Another Hundred People—A Sondheim Montage

| August 2, 2016

KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar

Another Hundred People—A Sondheim Montage

Davenport’s, Chicago, IL, July 31, 2016

Reviewed by Carla Gordon for Cabaret Scenes

Photo: Russ Weatherford

Photo: Russ Weatherford

Another Hundred People—A Sondheim Montage featuring KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar is a swellegant offering. It  defies much cabaret conventional wisdom and is better for it. It warms up with a lively piano solo by Musical Director Jon Weber featuring a ragtime “Comedy Tonight.” Another Hundred People‘s only “patter” is an early announcement that there will be no patter. Sullivan and Harnar prefer to speak through Sondheim’s lyrics.

Another Hundred People is indeed a montage. Virtually all of its numbers are pairings or triplets. Its arrangements are complex and compelling. Highlights abound. Sullivan nails “The Ladies Who Lunch,” becoming  drunker, snarkier, and funnier with each couplet. Harnar travels where none have traveled before, morphing “You Could Drive a Person Crazy” into a rant of text messages evincing growing irritation and underlying affection. Another Hundred People effectively mixes gender assignments. It is Sullivan who sings “Pretty Women” followed by “Johanna” with strong conviction and no little sensuality; as Harnar deftly manages the bullet train delivery of “Getting Married Today,” we understand how certain anxieties indeed transcend genders. It is a hoot to see Sullivan find the self-centered frenzy of “Buddy’s Blues.” In “More” (which was paired with “I Know Things Now”) Harnar bounces from one male audience member’s lap to another. Clearly, when he’s not near the boy he loves, he loves the boy he’s near—and it puts the “F” in funny.

The ballads are lovely. Sullivan finds the darkness, tenderness, and joy combining “No One Has Ever Loved Me” with “With So Little to Be Sure Of” and “So Many People.” The duet of “Send in the Clowns” lands beautifully as a shared discovery of old love and wistful disappointment. The very tall Weber returning to sing “Broadway Baby” is a hilarious surprise.

Another Hundred People is fine cabaret—well sung, well staged, and especially well interpreted. Sullivan’s red chiffon dress is just right. They are correct: we didn’t need the talking. Given audience responses, there were another hundred thumbs up!

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Category: Cabaret Reviews, Chicago, Chicago Cabaret Reviews, Regional

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