- CHARITY BENEFIT
Every once in a while, a performer comes along who has it all!
Hilary Kole is that kind of performer! She’s “drop dead” gorgeous with “starlet eyes,” a lovely smile and a stunning figure. She also possesses a winsome, very likable personality and when you add to that a flexible, highly polished, technically sound voice and an engaging stage presence, you are talking about a STAR!
Headlining at Jeffrey C. Williams’ new Fairfield County cabaret venue, The Ritz Supper Club, in the Rose Room at The Italian Center in Stamford, Ct., Kole demonstrated definitively why she’s “on a roll” and poised to pick up where the late Nancy LaMott left off.
For those who don’t know or remember, Nancy LaMott, was a New York singer on the verge of national recognition and stardom when her life was tragically cut short by illness. Musical Director, producer, songwriter and avid fan, David Friedman, felt she had paid her dues as a singing waitress at Don’t Tell Mama in New York and offered to produce her break out CD. The rest is history!
Along comes Hilary Kole, who, after debuting at the Rainbow Room as a nineteen year old band singer, starring in the off Broadway revues, Our Sinatra and Singing Astaire and holding court and refining her craft for eight years at Birdland, New York’s renowned jazz club, was approached by John Pizzarelli with the same offer. The result was her debut CD, “Haunted Heart” which put her on the map both here and in Japan where she’s sold over 100,000 copies!
Combining songs from both “Haunted Heart” and her newest release “You Are There,” she opened her show with Rodgers and Hart’s “There’s a Small Hotel” and what followed was an exhilarating ride from one brilliant jazz standard to another…ballad, mid-tempo, up-tempo, it didn’t matter, all were artfully paced and beautifully executed with intelligence, passion and breathtaking agility. With brilliant jazz pianist, Gerard D’Angelo, she demonstrated just how effective the simple pairing of piano and voice can be in the hands of two masters.
Personal favorites included a swinging “Love You Madly”(Duke Ellington), a soulful “Lush Life” (Billy Strayhorn) and a superior rendition of Yip Harburg and Harold Arlen’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” Alec Wilder’s gem “Blackberry Winter” as an encore led to a very well deserved standing “O” for Kole and to hopes that the next Ritz Supper Club evening, featuring Tony DeSare on May 14th, would be all that’s needed for Mr. Williams to continue to present the best of New York cabaret to a most appreciative Fairfield County audience for many years to come.