This year’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Jay Lerner—lyricist for musicals including My Fair Lady, Gigi and Camelot—continued last night with a program by KT Sullivan and Mark Nadler at the Green Room 42. Last night was the duo’s The Green Room 42 debut with Almost Like Being In Love: an Evening of Alan Jay Lerner.
Starting off with a haunting mash up of “One More Walk Around The Garden” from Carmelina – music by Burton Lane, to “You Haven’t Changed At All” from The Day Before Spring – music by Frederick Loewe, this elegant duo captured the audience with their styling that is uniquely their own. Nadler, dressed in a white dinner jacket, at the piano, and Ms. Sullivan in a body hugging red gown, looked the picture of elegance and of a time gone by.
The chat between lyrics of “Almost Like Being In Love” from Brigadoon – music by Frederick Loewe, allowed the audience to hear about the six shows they conceived and performed celebrating legendary songwriters at the famed Oak Room at the Algonquin Hotel, as well as creating nine other shows together including their hit off-Broadway Gershwin revue American Rhapsody. The chatter was informative and fun.
“C’est Moi” from Camelot – music by Frederick Loewe, was the perfect song for Nadler, as KT took on “I Left My Hat In Haiti” from Royal Wedding – music by Burton Lane, mashed into a hilarious “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady – music by Frederick Loewe. My favorite KT moments are when she takes on a comedic number. Her deadpan delivery is accented by her placement of a lyric. You can’t teach this.
A melodic “Here I’ll Stay” from Love Life – music by Kurt Weill, “If Ever I Would Leave You”and “How to Handle a Woman” from Camelot and “When Your Lover Says Goodbye” from Coco – music by André Previn, were handled masterfully by KT. I loved the gender bending of the material, as well as the fabulous arrangements by the prolific Nadler.
Mark took over with “Too Late Now” from Royal Wedding, with a tap dancing solo into the lovely “I Loved You Once In Silence” from Camelot.
The last song Lerner wrote was “Garbage Isn’t What It Used To Be” from My Man Godfrey and Nadler made us wish this show had been completed.
A delightful “Mother’s Wedding Day” from Brigadoon, again showed off KT’s comedic chops.
Back together for “Why Can’t The English Teach Their Children How To Speak” from My Fair Lady, lapsed into the title song from Gigi.
Still in the Gigi mode Mark blended “I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore” into “Wait Till We’re Sixty-Five” sung by KT into “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have”, both from On a Clear Day. Mark, which replaces the original pronoun of “he” – with “they” looking towards audiences and the entertainment industry.
“Another Autumn” from Paint Your Wagon – music by Frederick Loewe and “Before I Gaze At You Again” from Camelot, had KT sounding melodic and lovely.
In duet mode “I’ve Grown Accustomed To Your Face” from My Fair Lady, the stirring “There’s Always One You Can’t Forget” From Dance a Little Closer or Close a Little Faster– music by Charles Strousse and “You’re All The World To Me” from Royal Wedding, ended up this magical night, where cabaret was shown in it’s purest form.
KT & Mark return to the Beechman on December 22 at 7 pm, with additional dates scheduled through March 2017. The show is being recorded for later distribution as a CD.