By Michael Reubens
Last September I had the pleasure to see and review KT Sullivan at Beach Cafe. This time around it’s an even more special treat as KT handed over the reins to her mother, Elizabeth, and her brother, Tim, while joining in herself, gracing the cabaret stage for Mother’s Day.
However the night definitely belonged to Elizabeth: this sprightly 89 year old wasted no time serenading us with original songs, displaying empathy, compassion and emotionally charged ballads one after the other, in between letting this intimate and respectful audience into hidden family secrets only close friends & family members generally share!
At one point and slightly off-Mike she said “am I talking too much?…” to which the audience in unison screamed back a positive “NO…” bringing instant love and laughter right back as Elizabeth Sullivan spoke about growing up in Lightning Creek Oklahoma and living in Norman, OK., bringing up eight children, reminiscing about her lovely momma and daddy renting out the back bedroom so young Elizabeth could have piano lessons.
It was like a musical “This is your Life”.
If not now, when? opened the compendium of musical entertainment, followed by Waiting in the Wings, The Party Begins, Not tonight, Jim ( several meanings to that amusing title).
KT accompanied her mother with tunes ranging from Cloths of Heaven to my personal favorite, Let me sing and I’m Happy, immortalized by Al Jolson, followed by a reading from Irish poet WB Yeats.
Turn it Around, an Ode to her late Husband and Angel, you can fly, a tribute to one of her daughters not present – just a few of her carefully chosen repertoire.
Her son, Tim, replete with cowboy hat and blue jeans took the stage in his own unique style, strumming his guitar as he playfully sang several ditties including one based on a true story Vasectomy (no further explanation necessary) and Picture Hangs on the Wall. He then looked right in his mom’s eyes and in an emotionally teary-eyed voice proclaimed…” I wish I had said I loved you just one more time…” and…”I won the parent lottery… “to which his mom reciprocated with an “I love you” and an immediate Awe and Aargh reaction from the audience!
The Sullivan Family were accompanied by Dennis Buck at the piano.
A befitting way to end a 2019 family oriented Mothers Day weekend.
326 Second Avenue
New York City