Ann Kittredge Encores Ahrens & Flaherty Tribute at 54 Below

Ann Kittredge (Photo Magda Katz)

Ann Kittredge & Alex Rybeck (Photo Magda Katz)

 

By Linda Amiel Burns

 

In 2018, Ann Kittredge won the MAC Award for her first cabaret show in the Best Female Debut Category, but she is certainly no novice and has worked extensively on and off-Broadway and regionally for many years. Last spring she debuted “Fancy Meeting You Here: An Evening of Ahrens & Flaherty” to critical acclaim and returned to Feinstein’s/54 Below on September 24, 2019 for an encore performance.

Ann Kittredge is the complete package and a welcome addition to the cabaret world. Aside from being beautiful with great stage presence, she has a extraordinary and well trained singing voice. But most of all, she is a superb actress and knows how to interpret the lyrics and put each song across in a special way. This delightful show was directed by Andrea Marcovicci with the remarkable Alex Rybeck on piano and Mary Ann McSweeny on bass.

After Alex masterfully performed the overture from Ragtime, Ann entered from the bar area wearing boxing gloves and a shiny orange robe, trotting to the stage like Rocky, one of Ahrens and Flaherty’s shows. She then sang a well arranged medley of songs from Anastasia, Seussical, Once On This Island, Ragtime and Lucky Stiff  that set the tone for this tribute evening, removing the boxing attire and adding a long skirt to her stunning sequined body suit.

 

Ann Kittredge (Photo Magda Katz)

Ann Kittredge (Photo Magda Katz)

 

What was outstanding about the show was that Ann recreated the characters from the musicals playing several parts in The Glorious Ones to a “The Streets of Dublin” from Man of No Importance, to a confused young woman in “Never Really Knew the Guy” from the never produced Bedazzled, to a French Chanteuse in “Speaking French” from Lucky Stiff as she walked through the room singling out a few victims in the enthusiastic audience.

During “Shut Up and Dance” from My Favorite Year, guest artist Marcus Lovett came out of the audience to join her on stage for a duet. They have worked on ten shows, but never sang together, so this was on her “bucket list.” They performed the sexy and romantic “The Bend of My Arms” from Dessa Rose, a 2005 off-Broadway show, and their extraordinary voices blended beautifully.

 

Marcus Lovett, Ann Kittredge (Photo Maryann Lopinto)

 

Ann met Stephen Flaherty years ago when he was playing for Nunsense, off Broadway, while Lynn Ahrens was writing commercial jingles. The two met over 30 years ago in the BMI workshop and the rest is history. Among the interesting and informative patter, Ann said that A & F are “master storytellers” and I can say the same thing about this charming and talented performer. Each song was like a one act play, including her closing song “Back to Before” from Ragtime that was especially moving and well sung.

Kudos to Ann Kittredge and her Creative Team for this remarkable evening honoring the songs of Ahrens & Flaherty, performed by a versatile and exceptional entertainer.

For more info and her schedule:  Visit Annkittredge.com.

 

 

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