KT Sullivan


KT Sullivan

Autumn in New York

Algonquin's Oak Room

Autumn, spring, whenever, there is no doubt that KT Sullivan loves what she is doing. Every detail shines with care, her gowns, her accompanists, and her delivery of songs. Listen to her medley of Another Op'ning', Another Show and There's No Business Like Show Business. Show biz may not be easy -- "you're broken hearted but you go on " -- but with Sullivan, you believe her when she sings, "You wouldn't change it for a sack of gold."

This feeling of being exactly where she wants to be at this stage of her life ruminates through Autumn in New York, KT Sullivan's tenth show at the Algonquin Oak Room. This time Sullivan is solo, backed by Tedd Firth on piano and Steve Doyle on bass. She chooses a generous selection of theatre songs, some she performed on the big stage, others add to the tale of just a little girl from Boggy Depot who lands on the New York stage. Although Sullivan keeps patter to a minimum, she is inspired enough by the sentiment in Irving Berlin's Well of All the Rotten Shows (Face the Music), to include a light-hearted reading of unflattering theatre reviews from No Turn Unstoned.

Sullivan mingles witty and sparkling tunes with older and wiser, brought to a peak with Noel Coward's World Weary. Her enunciation is clear, her soprano voice clear, and her interpretations well thought through. She includes lovely melodic tunes like Will You? by Frankel and Korie from Grey Gardens, Adam Guettel's Dividing Day from The Light in the Piazza, and Jerry Herman's poignant And I Was Beautiful, from Dear World. Colored Lights (Kander/Ebb) from The Rink and Try to Remember (The Fantasticks by Schmidt/Jones) evoke nostalgia with a mere twinge of lament. From Threepenny Opera by Weill and Brecht, Sullivan takes on the gritty lyrics and realism of Barbara Song. She is spirited with Who's That Woman?, Sondheim's Follies' rueful recognition of passing years and has fun with a song cut from Applause by Strouse and Adams, called Smashing New York Times. September Song by Weill and Anderson, is just facing Life.

Regret has hardly a role in Autumn in New York. Sullivan has an upbeat, driving energy that does not wallow in sentimentality, and Eric Michael Gillett directed a show that illuminates the Sullivan spirit for music and performing.

 Elizabeth Ahlfors
Cabaret Scenes