By Tom Alvarez, Indianpolis Performing Arts Examiner
November 21, 2014
Of all the performers that have appeared at the Cabaret during its occupancy at the Columbia Club, Christine Ebersole may well be one of its brightest, if not one of its most enchanting stars. The two-time Tony Award winner for “42nd Street” and “Grey Gardens,” Ebersole was in Indy for a two-night engagement at the Cabaret Friday, Nov. 14, and Saturday, Nov. 15 (see by this writer).
Ebersole, who recently appeared at the Rainbow Room and 54 Below and is one of the most noted performers in the Cabaret arena, titled her act “Age Before Beauty.” Choosing songs that speak to finding the key to eternal youth, Ebersole was accompanied by her music director John Oddo on piano along with local musicians Michael Stricklin on reeds and Jeremy Allen on bass.
“Ding Dong the Witch is Dead,” “Blame It On My Youth,” “On the Atchison, Topeka and The Santa Fe,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “42nd Street” and “It’s Only a Paper Moon” all showed off Ebersole’s shining operatic soprano voice.
One of the more poignant moments of the evening was a story the Winnetka, Ill., native Ebersole related about the night that not just one but two adopted children coincidentally became available to her and her husband on the same day, which she followed with an inspiring rendition of “If I Were a Bell.”
Ebersole’s performance of “Another Winter in a Summer Town” and “Drift Away,” from “Grey Gardens,” demonstrated her superb dramatic abilities, making it obvious why she won a Tony for her dual roles of “Big Edie” and “Little Edie” in the 2006 Broadway musical.
Closing her show with “Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries,” Ebersole, in possession of a playful sense of humor, left the stage momentarily only to return for her encore which she referred to as a “false exit” and which she said was a “cabaret convention.” After doing a spot on impression of Eartha Kitt singing “Mink Schmink,” Ebersole informed the audience that the key to eternal youth could be found inside after which she ended the show with “Young at Heart.”
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