Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Cabaret Review : Kay Cole--a Singer And Actress Without An Act

August 23, 1986|DON HECKMAN

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.

Even that might not have been so bad if she hadn't elected to interpret most of the songs in the same manner: soft, introspective openings, building to wham, boffo, high-intensity climaxes.

The few exceptions suggested Cole has a better dynamic range than her current act allows her.

The good moments, however, were too rare. Cole is a skilled actress and a promising singer, but she has not yet found an act that can carry her from to the small nightclub. She continues at the Gardenia tonight and returns next Thursday through Saturday.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|