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Cabaret Review (LA): Kritzerland: Songs That Got Away at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal

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On September 8, 2012, Bruce Kimmel celebrated his second anniversary of live performances at his new home, Sterling’s Upstairs at the Federal. He brought along several entertainers from his stable of talents, plus a few new ones and five guest stars. The show ran 105 minutes with 22 songs, a long but glorious evening of great singing and impressive talent.

Singing at this celebration were Dennis Kyle, Kevin Symonds, Juliana Hansen, Jenna Rosen, Jane Noseworthy, Lisa Livesay, the Staitmen sisters (Sami and Sarah), Jason Graae, Lea Thompson, Joan Ryan, Lindsay Ridgeway, Rita McKenzie, Bruce Kimmel, and Michael Sterling himself.

Kimmel’s shows are always a delight, but half the fun is hearing songs from shows that flopped, little gems plucked from the ruins. Examples were Jane Noseworthy singing “I Remember Sky” from Sondheim’s Evening Primrose and Kevin Symons singing “Old Habits Die Hard” from Heartbeats by Amanda McBroom. Symons’s rendition of this song was shattering and my favorite of the evening.

Other highlights included anything Lisa Livesay sang (“West End Avenue” from Steven Schwartz’s 12th Night, and a hot rendition of “Too Darn Hot” from Kiss Me Kate). This singer is an immense talent. I also enjoyed the duet by Kyle and Symons from The Boys From Syracuse. Guest Lea Thompson showed a lovely singing voice in “It’s A Perfect Relationship” and “The Party’s Over” from Bells Are Ringing. Bruce Kimmel sang a sweet and understated “If I had My Druthers” from L’il Abner. Jason Graae made a delightful appearance and sang “You’ve Got Possibilities” (with the assistance of a game Michael Sterling) and one of his trademark songs, “Popular.”

The best part of the evening was the reunion of Ryan, McKenzie, and Ridgeway singing a sequence of songs from their hit Ruthless. Ridgeway was only eight at the time so Kimmel gave her an extra song, “I will Be Loved Tonight” from I Love You’re Perfect Now Change. Happy Second Anniversary to Bruce Kimmel and his gang. They performed at Sterling’s Upstairs at The Federal.

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