Review: Kate Baldwin

Most recently known for playing a radiant and golden-voiced Irene Malloy in the recent hit revival of Hello, Dolly!, Kate Baldwin’s has a new show at Feinstein’s / 54 Below titled “How Did You Get This Number?” The act features “signature songs” of many descriptions: special material about her life written by music director Georgia Stitt, audition songs, and – most of all – songs she performed in shows successful (Dolly, Finian’s Rainbow, John and Jen) and unsuccessful (Big Fish, Giant). A theme that runs through the show is that a song, like any work an artist works on, belongs to them, but they also belong to it.

Baldwin combines a luscious, expressive soprano (that has more resonant low notes than most) with a personality that is unfailingly charming. Her big break was playing Sharon McLonergan in the Broadway revival of Finian’s Rainbow, and she does a charming medley of “Look to the Rainbow” and “Glocca Mora.” In the year before that big change though, she was doing an extremely wide variety of ingenue roles all over the country, and shows what a ridiculous amount of diverse material she had to learn in a giddy medley that is one of the evening’s highlights.

The evening has the slightest case of two things that will create problems in a cabaret act: too many obscure songs and too many ballads. But it’s only maybe one too many of each, so it doesn’t get in the way of what is largely a delightful evening. Recommended.

For tickets, click here.

To learn about Jonathan Warman’s directing work, see jonathanwarman.com.

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