October 10, 2021
Ann Kittredge, along with musical director Alex Rybeck and virtuoso guitarist Sean Harkness performed Movie Nite to a full house on Sunday night at Birdland Theater. Opening the show with the aptly titled As Time Goes By, Kittredge took the audience on a tour of (mostly) 20th century songs from American movie classics.
The only song not from a 20th century movie classic, Another Day of Sun (Justin Hurwitz/Benj Pasek/Justin Noble Paul)from La La Land was reimagined in a way reminiscent of a 1940’s movie plot summary, (Woman looking back on first love, leaving to see wealth and stardom, no regrets, happ-ish ending, etc)
No tribute to 20 century movies would be complete without an Irving Berlin/Fred Astaire medley, which included songs like “Putting on the Ritz,” “Stepping Out With My Baby,” “Cheek to Cheek,” complete with a gracefully executed dance break!
The War Song Section included songs from Thank Your Lucky Stars, Lost Horizon, Naughty Marietta, and Anastasia. The story about Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald, the love they had to keep secret, and the lengths to which they went to accomplish that, leading into “Ah! Sweet Mystery of Life” (Rida Johnson Young/ Victor Herbert) It, as well Kittredge’s tender, yet passionate rendition, and Rybeck’s extraordinary arrangement added a new potency to a song that has often been used as a punchline.
The final leg of our tour included a medley of some of the best torch songs ever written. Kittredge’s connection to the lyrics and her delivery, riding the line between vulnerable and raw, not only did them justice, but at times elevated them to another level altogether. And, “When You Wish Upon A Star” (Leigh Harline/Ned Washington)done accapella was the perfect ending to the show
Kittredge’s emotional connection, nuanced vocals and impeccable phrasing, along with Rybeck’s intricate arrangements evoked a strong presence of nostalgia. Whether it was the music-box rendering of “Hi Lili,” setting a nostalgic tone while underscoring Kittredge’s patter, or the excerpts from movie themes interspersed within the arrangement of “You Made Me Love You,” (Jimmy Monaco/Joseph McCarthy) transforming it with into a humorous love song to the movies, Rybeck’s arrangements served as the perfect vehicle for Kittredge’s romp through classic movie-land.
Additional dates for this show will be announced. Stay tuned to Cabaret Hotspot for more details.