- CHARITY BENEFIT
Reviewed by Paulanne Simmons
One of the nice things about Broadway stars performing in cabaret is that it gives them a chance to sing numbers from some of their less successful musicals. Thus, Chad Kimball, in his show at 54 Below (254 West 54th Street), sings from the score of The Civil War and Lennon. Then he ends with a number from the hit show that earned him a Tony nomination in Memphis.
Kimball, who was raised in Seattle and graduated from Boston Conservatory, nevertheless has a certain twang in his voice, which works well with much of his repertoire. But he is also capable of warmth and texture in his delivery.
What’s more, Kimball has a fun-loving side to his personality revealed in his imitation of the muppet, Elmo, and his choice of a song whose principal lyrics are “blah, blah, blah.” He also appears to be devoted to nieces and nephew, who call him “Chaddy.”
But the downside of Broadway stars turning to cabaret is that they are not always ready for the more intimate communication with the audience such performances entail. In Kimball’s case, this seems odd as he garnered the 2003 Bistro Award for his cabaret debut. However, he is now returning to the cabaret stage for the first time in ten years.
Trapper Felides, vocal performance coach and star maker on the show The Next Big Thing, was Mr. Kimball’s pianist. A song list or performer list would have provided a roadmap. What’s a mere reviewer to do other than scramble best she can.
****T2C would like to apologize to Mr. Kimball and company for some of the inadequacies in the original review, which are now fixed. Chad’s star turn as the cow, Milky White, in James Lapine’s 2002 revival of Into the Woods was sorely missed in the Delacorte production of the same show. We hope that Mr. Kimball will return to the stage soon or finish the album we hear is in the making. For Michael Arden fans he has a separate cabaret at 54Below on Sunday the 13th.