The last of this season’s Cabaret Series, Sullivan and…
By J. Davis
An evening of pure Gershwin entitled “Sweet And Low Down” was presented to an appreciative audience by cabaret singer KT Sullivan and accompanist Mark Nadler at Flushing Town Hall last weekend.
The last of this season’s Cabaret Series, Sullivan and Nadler’s show drew a full house and was the second appearance of the popular duo this season.
George Gershwin was the real star of the evening. Born in New York City in 1898, he managed to produce an amazing musical legacy of 557 songs, one opera, and three musicals. His first big hit was “Sewanee” when he was 21. In 1924 his older brother (by three years), Ira, joined him as lyricist. They combined jazz, blues and popular music with great success. Gershwin also composed the unforgettable “Rhapsody in Blue” (1924) and “American In Paris (1928). George Gershwin was an elegant man-about-town and a celebrity of the day. Sadly, he died at the early age of 39 in 1937.
The Flushing Town Hall salute included Sullivan making her entrance down the aisle singing “Summertime” from the “Porgy And Bess” opera of 1935. The first medley of numbers (remembered by most of the audience) included “Sweet and Lovely,” “Lady be Good,” “A Foggy Day,” “Funny Face,” “Love is Sweeping the Country” and “Somebody Loves Me.”
Nadler, a master of the keyboard and the consummate entertainer, did a real comic contortionist bit with a ditty titled “Don’t Give Me Vodka.” The pair also did a comic version of “I Won’t Go Home” as an interaction between a French “gamine” and a World War I soldier.
A number of Gershwin’s songs were popularized in the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers movies such as “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” and “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off” which the audience enjoyed as the team sang.
Both artists in the performance have long bios of appearances on stage and in cabarets as well as many awards.
The next event in the “Red, Hot and Blue” Smithsonian series at Flushing Town Hall will be July 4, with “Tap Your Troubles Away,” featuring Ted Levy from the production “Bring In Da Noise, Bring In Da Funk.” For tickets, call 718-463-7700, Ext. 222.