Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Kaye Ballard at Feinstein's

If you are a Kaye Ballard fan and didn't get to see her Sunday, now is the time to bug her and Feinstein's about her coming back for a week or two. Because, really, you have to see her.

From the second she enters the room--to tumultuous applause--to the second she leaves, Ballard is entertainment personified, old school. First, she is funny. Very very very funny. Her material isn't exactly new, but it doesn't matter. Even the oldest, hoariest bits sparkle again when presented with her wry smile, twinkling eye, and master timing.

Her singing voice is pretty much shot, but she manages to do well by a number of songs anyway. (I could have done with less singing.) Her Mabel Mercer impression is spot on according to my friend who saw Mercer many times--and completely delightful even to those of us who never did.

Ballard has an array of beguiling show biz anecdotes. I had no idea that "Maybe This Time" was written for her (although as "Maybe Next Time"). I had no idea that Ballard was one of the originators of "Lazy Afternoon" from The Golden Apple. And her story about Sophie Tucker's response to Ballard's imitation of her is everything you'd want it to be.

The pertinent point is this: overall, Kaye Ballard remains the energetic, entertaining, delightful performer she has always been.

(press ticket; by the door)

No comments: