It’s About Time
Metropolitan Room, NYC, March 7, 2017
Reviewed by Peter Haas
Welcome a new “Broadway Baby” to cabaret. She’s Ann Kittredge, who brought an impressive background—roles on and off Broadway, in regional productions, film and more—to her cabaret debut in a full-house Metropolitan Room. Titled It’s About Time—alluding to how long it has taken her to tackle the small stage—her show featured a rich collection of less-often-performed theater and popular songs, delivered with a crisp, clear voice, energy and heart. Tall, slim and elegant in a backless gown, Kittredge shared the stage with Musical Director Wendy Cavett at the piano and Mary Ann McSweeney on bass.
The program included a generous helping of theater songs. Among them: “Before the Parade Passes By” (Jerry Herman from Hello, Dolly!), (“It speaks to who I am,” Ann commented); “Come Down From the Tree ” (Flaherty and Ahrens, cut from Once on This Island); “Stop, Time” (Maltby and Shire, from Big); “Everybody Wants to Do a Musical” (Maltby and Charles Strouse, from Nick & Nora); “Chanson,” (Stephen Schwartz, from The Baker’s Wife); and, on a more contemporary note, “Burn” from Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton.
Cabaret fans would have recognized Steven Lutvak’s “I Just Wanted You to Know,” Goldrich and Heisler’s humorous “The Last Song,” and Kim Oler/Tom Toce’s “After All.” Popular song was represented by “You Go to My Head” (J. Fred Coots/Haven Gillespie) and “My Foolish Heart” (Victor Young/Ned Washington).
Ann Kittredge’s debut offers a lesson to other performers moving from theater to cabaret. In theater, many singers are accustomed to projecting vocally to the back row. In cabaret, and certainly in the intimate Metropolitan Room, the performer on stage can almost reach out and touch the back-wall booths. Too much volume and projection can undermine the spirit of a song and, in Kittredge’s case on several numbers, drain the charm.
Ann Kittredge returns to the Metropolitan Room for the evening of April 1.