Kathleen Armenti: Sadness: A Sad Show

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Kathleen Armenti

Sadness: A Sad Show

The Duplex, NYC, November 27, 2017

Reviewed by Chris Struck for Cabaret Scenes

Kathleen Armenti

It’s said that the last jewel of wisdom is sorrow, and Kathleen Armenti not only shined like that jewel in a glittering silver dress and blue hair, but shared with us powerful life lessons, too. She used her experience facing one’s heavier sentiments to bring the sadness emotion (from the movie Inside Out) to life in a cunning and fun cabaret. It helped that Armenti came well-prepared to deliver her songs with solid vocalizations and more than adequate range.

Her best attribute was certainly her phrasing. Her ability to play with the rhythm of each song gave them and the show a uniquely “her” feel. This in turn helped to make improvised songs about reading on a rainy day or cuddling seem normal next to classics like “One Fine Day” (Gerry Goffin/Carole King) and “Million Reasons” (Lady Gaga/Hillary Lindsey/Mark Ronson).

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Henry Koperski, with an apt piano player’s patience, aided Armenti in making this unique trait work.

Almost an extension of that was her ability to deliver a punch line.

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When remarking on the aforementioned “One Fine Day” she quipped, “There’s nothing romantic about unrequited love,” which helped her introduce my favorite song of the set, “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (John Farrar, from the film version of Grease). The line “Guess mine is not the first heart broken” really brought out Armenti’s best.

She teased that she’d be bringing her show back to The Duplex, and I would encourage her to do so. She showed that, while sadness can be a powerful emotion, the most beautiful things in life can be found by looking through its prism.

Chris Struck

Chris Struck's debut novel, Kennig and Gold, is due to be officially published in June 2019. He's written reviews for Cabaret Scenes since August of 2017. For more information about the writer, see StruckChris.com