Kelli Rabke



By Sandi Durell



I had a terrific phone conversation with cast member, the lovely Kelli Rabke (Children of Eden, Les Miserables, Joseph. . .), appearing in Small Town Confessions, to find out more about Phil Geoffrey Bond‘s comedy (directed by Stephen Nachamie), launching at the 14th Street Y for three performances August 10, 12 and 14.


It’s an all-star cast with many familiar faces including Daisy Eagan, George Kimmel, Sally Mayes, Sharon McKnight, Alice Ripley, Jeff Tuohy, Tyler Whitaker, each taking on a specific character as they deliver lively monologues. There are a bunch of very colorful residents, it seems, in the town of Anitola, Louisiana!


Kelli has dubbed this comedy  ‘a dysfunctional Our Town’  for starters. She plays Mrs. Betsy Radcliffe, a gal who gave up her singing career to have children and raise a family (very familiar to Kelli who has two kids and, after a ten year hiatus returned to the biz) but Kelli says she’s one of the less colorful characters in comparison to the really quirky ones who live in this Parrish in Louisiana. You’ll be hearing anything and everything from rumors of encounters with martians, obsessions with the musical Wicked, a chat with the bride of Satan, and even Diana Ross takes a turn . . . Kelli says the most pivotal characters in this comedy are the town manicurist Jobeth Maybelline (played by Sally Mayes), who knows all the town secrets, and Doris Kitteridge (played by Sharon McKnight) the high society lady who’s full of herself. On the whole, it appears that everyone in town has unusual life circumstances ready to share as eventual relationships unfold.


Expect over the top comedy tinged with pathos!


Kelli is happy to be back after initially performing at Town Hall in a Broadway Originals evening four years ago where she met John Fisher, the musical director, and they decided it was time to reignite her career launching her first cabaret show “No Place Like Home” followed by ‘The Wizard and I: Music of Stephen Schwartz.” That led to her working with Scott Coulter’s Symphony shows – Blockbuster Broadway and Music of the Knights – where she travels around the country, including Canada and Mexico. She’s also busy with a revue called It Helps to Sing About It (Ben Scheckter and Dan Kail).


“Having music back in my life is a joy” says Kelli. Doing concerts and cabaret are the perfect gigs for this mother of two where she gets to sing what she loves and still be available to her family. Although the Broadway stage may have an attraction . . . just not now. She says the time has passed but Kelli would have loved to play Eliza Doolittle. You never know!


She learned to love music and to sing growing up listening to her grandfather on a player piano. Kelli began singing early on in school prompted by teachers who encouraged her to move forward with a career. “I am definitely a testament to the difference a teacher can make in a kid’s life!” As a kid, she listened, over and over again, to Barbra Streisand’s Live Concert at the Forum, the original cast recording of Pippin and the movie soundtrack of Grease. “I learned how to sing soprano from Olivia Newton John, learned how to belt from Barbra and tell a story from Stephen Schwartz.”


We’ll get to hear Kelli Rabke’s story along with those from the many other colorful characters in Small Town Confessions at the 14th Street Y, 344 East 14 Street, NYC.


August 10 at 12:30 pm

August 12 at  3:30 pm

August 14 at  7:30 pm


For tickets visit: