August 14, 2010
Jane Krakowski just released alive CD of her recent cabaret show that played at the Kennedy Center before a run at Feinstein’s in New York.
The CD offers a clearly-talented actress/singer presenting a range of interesting material in a personal manner. All of it is wrapped in Krakowski’s bubbly, fizzy personality, suggestive of a 21st Century Mamie VanDoren or Abbe Lane.
Highlights of the CD include a re-working of the Rodgers/Hart song zip as Tweet and a spellbinding medley of When I Get Low I Get High with Wacky Dust.
I have to admit being a little torn with this recording. On every objective level that I can measure — song selection, delivery, arrangements — I think the material is superbly delivered. Part of me wonders if I have residual annoyance for the shamefully under-rehearsed, excuse-fill show Krakowski delivered at the Kennedy Center. But then I realized that the problem is that while all that Krakowski does in self-expression is very good, what she doesn’t do is try to reach the audience. So in the end, it’s like meeting someone at a party who’s fabulous and entertaining, and never asks about you.
1. The Laziest Gal In Town
2. Interlude One
3. A Little Brains, A Little Talent
4. Interlude Two
5. “Tweet” Based On “Zip”
6. Interlude Three
7. An Englishman Needs Time
8. Interlude Four
9. My Handy Man
10. Interlude Five
11. I’m Old Fashioned / Old Fashioned Girl
12. Interlude Six
13. Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend
14. Interlude Seven
15. When I Get Low, I Get High / Wacky Dust
16. Interlude Eight
17. Thirteen Men
18. Interlude Nine
19. Let’s Face The Music And Dance
20. Interlude Ten
21. Rubber Duckie
October 8, 2009
The NYTimes reviews of Jane Krakowski’s act, now openend in NY, suggests that it could now be called “recovered and rehearsed”: “The program is an anthology of songs both famous and obscure, loaded with saucy double entendres, that were once staples for the likes of Eartha Kitt, Mae West and Ethel Waters. What she brings to numbers that these and other forerunners have mined for every imaginable shade of lubricity and seduction is an intractable innocence. Instead of danger and challenge, she conveys a wholesome agreeability.”
BTW, here’s my review of her Kennedy Center outing in Cabaret Scenes
October 5, 2009
Nelson Pressley reviews Jane Krakowski in the Washington Post: “Even under the weather, she sparkled.”
He’s much cheerier than I am. Was it the earlier show or residual charm from the interview he did?
Here’s a paragraph in his review that leads to an issue with this show that I really want to discuss: “Krakowski is slated for a few weeks at a Manhattan club later this month, so presumably her voice will be stronger and the act will be honed. On Saturday the band members still seemed to be familiarizing themselves with the material, and Krakowski frequently glanced toward her music stand for lyrics and segue tales.”
Is it really OK that DC audiences were treated to a show that Krakowski herself onstage admitted was “underrehearsed” ? The show was not billed as a “pre-New York tryout.” Do the people paying $55 each in two sold out houses not rate a finished product? Do the people at the second show paying $55 a seat deserve to see a show with 30 minutes eliminated from the first?
October 4, 2009
I saw Jane Krakowski open this season’s Barbara Cook’s Spotlight series at the Kennedy Center last night. I’ll link to my Cabaret Scenes review when it’s available online. (Here it is.)
Here’s the precis: If you came to the show because you’re a fan of JK from TV, you were in luck. She looked amazing, was charming, had star presence, and had some musical moments. Otherwise the show was severly underrehearsed, she was constantly reading from a script for both songs and patter (a hold-over reliance on cue cards), and really didn’t connect to a lot of the material. The show was entertaining, but I feel that there was a lot of wasted talent in this endevor.
Krakowski said the show should be titled “sick and under-rehearsed.” Although she claimed vocal distress, she sounded fine in the show I saw, the second at 9:30. However, the always-dishy Joel Markowitz, that notable voice from DC Theatre Scene , informed me that the second show was 30ish minutes and 5 songs shorter than the first.
Here’s the song list for the show I saw:
- The Laziest Gal in Town
- A Little Brains, A Little Talent
- Tweet (Mark Shamian and Scott Wittman re-write of Zip)
- An Englishman Needs Time*/ A Guy What Takes His Time
- I’m Old Fashioned / Old Fashioned Girl*
- Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend (rap interlude by Chad Beguelin)
- When I Get Low, I Get High / Wacky Dust
- Thirteen Men
- Let’s Face the Music and Dance
- A Call From the Vatican (encore)
- Rubber Duckie (encore)
*On paper, I guess Krakowski’s comic sexuality would make the Eartha Kitt songbook seem like a plausible idea.
September 27, 2009
Jane Krakowski opens this year’s season of the Barbara Cook Spotlight series at the Kennedy Center next weekend.
Nice profile today in the Washington Post.
And a clip from her Tony-winning turn in Nine on Broadway(which features what I think is the best musical exit in a Broadway musical ever):