Singer Kay Cole's nightclub debut at the Gardenia Thursday night provided a curious variation on Pirandello; it was One Character in Search of an Act.
A former singer/dancer in Broadway musicals and a member of the original cast of "Chorus Line," Cole opened with a craftily planned cameo audition scene, complete with the voice of an off-stage director, and overflowing with typical self-focused, show-biz concerns: "Will I make it? Am I (pick one) pretty? tall? good enough?"
Unlike the similar scene in "Chorus Line," however, Cole's over-scripted act simply wasn't convincing. Good actress though she may be, she never got far enough past the narcissistic theatricality of the scene to establish a real connection with her audience.
Cole was further hampered by a generally mediocre collection of material. Although the names of the composers were impressive enough--Stephen Schwartz, Peter Allen, Alan and Marilyn Bergman--the choices leaned far too heavily in the direction of love piningly unrequited.