KT Sullivan


"Let's Fall in Love," KT Sullivan's new show in the Oak Room of the Algonquin Hotel, is a class act. Looking radiant, Sullivan exudes charm that adds to her lovely singing voice, and pairing her with Larry Woodard at the piano and doing some singing of his own is a happy idea. They give off warm vibes in their collaboration, which makes for extra audience appeal. The favored composer on which the show focuses is Harold Arlen.

Sullivan is very adept at imparting information about Arlen, the songs chosen and his various collaborators. She has a way of giving us information without being excessive, and she gives every impression that she is having a wonderful time interacting with her audience. Sullivan commands such attention that ultimate quiet prevails. At least that was the case when I attended.

Woodard also gets his chance at anecdotal information. Sullivan leaves it to him to sing "Stormy Weather," which he prefaces by recounting prejudice his father told him about encountering while in the army. African-American soldiers in his unit were forbidden to have a pin-up photo of Betty Grable on the wall. No white pin-ups for black GIs. Woodard's father, a major influence in pointing him toward singing and the piano, had him learn "Stormy Weather," as sung by his own "pin-up," Lena Horne. Woodard delivers it exquisitely.

I have enjoyed hearing Sullivan on many occasions, and this time she is in particularly splendid form, doing justice to such numbers as "Just a Thing Called Joe," "A Woman's Prerogative," "It Was Good Enough for Grandma," "Let's Fall Love," and many more. In short, this is a winning helping of cabaret in a stylish New York setting. Through April 12 at the Oak Room, Algonquin Hotel, 59 West 44th Street. Phone: 212-419-9331.