Delivered live January 7, 1999 6:30pm; re-broadcast January 8, 1999 4:45pm.
At the FireBird Café on West 46th Street, soprano KT Sullivan is doing a show called Noel, Cole, and Bart (that's Noel Coward, Cole Porter, and Bart Howard). Using their last names, it could have been called Coward, Howard, and Porter; either way, you get only two names that rhyme, but you get an hour of terrific music by three superb songwriters, performed by one of my favorite singers. Whenever I talk or write about KT Sullivan, I find myself using the words luscious and delicious. She looks great, and she has a beautiful voice and an absolutely delightful sense of humor; and this Noel, Cole, and Bart show is one of her best ever. In the Noel Coward selections, KT focuses mainly on Coward's comic side, and she performs them to a fare-thee-well. Her medley of "World Weary" and the less familiar "Weary of It All" is especially hilarious, and her rendition of Coward's rather naughty lyrics to Cole Porter's "Let's Do It" is the best I've heard. But she also delivers fine interpretations of the more serious "Mad About the Boy" and "I'll See You Again." The Cole Porter songs include some very funny numbers, plus she does a beautiful job on "So In Love," and her exquisitely delicate rendition of "Wunderbar" is exceptional. Bart Howard is, of course, best known for the standard "Fly Me to the Moon," but he's written many other marvelous songs, and KT has a special affinity for his material. (In fact, she won a Bistro Award from Back Stage newspaper last year for her performance and recording of his work.) Among the Bart Howard selections in the show are a lovely song called "Perfect Stranger," an affecting pairing of "Walk Up" and "Year After Year," and there's a song called "It Was Worth It," which Bart wrote for Mabel Mercer on her 50th birthday. Many more singers should be doing his songs. The show runs through January 23, with performances Tuesdays-Thursdays at 9, Fridays and Saturdays at 9 and 11. The cover charge is $30, plus there's a two-drink minimum, which is waived if you have dinner at the adjacent FireBird restaurant. The FireBird is on 46th Street between 8th and 9th Avenues. For reservations, phone (212) 586-0244.
— Roy Sander