A Taste All its Own – Nellie McKay with a Z

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By: John Weatherford

 

 

I hate liver.  There, I’ve said it.  I’ve hated liver since I was a child and my mother would try to disguise it as country style steak.  She did that to trick me into taking the biggest piece and then forcing me to sit at the table, for what appeared to be days, until I ate it.  I never did.  I just don’t understand the eating of liver.  I don’t understand the taste.  I don’t understand the texture and, most of all, I don’t believe that those that say they like liver really do.

Now, let’s get to the subject at hand.  I attended Nellie McKay’s (how in the world do you get Mckeye out of McKay) opening night at Café Carlyle.  I just don’t understand Ms. McKay no matter how little I tried. Here are just a few things about her show that have nothing to do with her lifeless voice and her lack of piano playing acumen.

The show was billed to begin at 8:45 pm.  It began at 9:10 pm.  She arrived on stage, called for a drink and headed straight for the piano.  Her first two efforts were directed to the piano.  She never once looked in the direction of the audience. Not that it mattered because I felt she could have cared less whether I (the collective I) was there or not.

I do not know Ms. McKay’s work, other than seeing an occasional novelty presentation at a benefit somewhere.  I was led to believe that she is a satirist, with a wit and intelligence to take selective injustices and find clever ways to, light-heartedly, draw focus to their importance to society.  I was certainly wrong to have thought that was what she does.  What I found was an ill prepared, weak voiced, myopic and thoughtless impersonation of a performer.  Humble as my opinion might be.   A little cruel you might say, but remember, she uses her forum to express her opinions as irreverent and insensitive as they may be.  She says what she chooses and it is, by some, thought of as art.  Perhaps that is the irony of her shtick.

Now, I realize that some things are an acquired taste.  I’m still trying to understand why anyone would want to acquire a taste for liver; chopped or not.  As for Ms. McKay, that’s a taste all its own.

February 18 thru 22 – www.cafecarlyle.com        212 744 1600       35 E. 76th Street (Madison Ave.) NYC

*Photo/Video: Russ Weatherford

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