KT Sullivan


Singing Pretty


The cabaret season is off to a slow start, but effervescent KT Sullivan’s sparkling Jerome Kern tribute at the Algonquin (through Oct. 11) is required homework for music lovers with superior taste. Her concert-ready soprano waxes obscure gems such as “The Land Where the Good Songs Go,” “Raggedy Ann” and “April Fooled Me” with pure Shinola, and her warm lower register underscores the romantic subtext of Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics in “The Folks Who Live on the Hill,” “In the Heart of the Dark” and “All the Things You Are”; it’s as though she’s singing just for you. Her trilling soprano is not an automatically appropriate vessel for “Ol’ Man River,” but she invests it with the sweet insouciant nostalgia of a Southern belle on foreign soil homesick for the Mississippi. Better still, there’s the wit and wile of P. G. Wodehouse on a naughtier than usual “Cleopatterer,” and a pair of hilarious gems, “Bungalow in Quogue” and “When It’s Nesting Time in Flatbush,” that will spill your cabernet.  From Helen Morgan torch songs like “Don’t Ever Leave Me” to nostalgic war anthems like “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” here are 26 Jerome Kern masterpieces, beautifully arranged by pianist Tedd Firth and sung to perfection by cabaret’s crown princess, that will leave you drooling.