NY Music Review by John Weatherford
Sondra Lee has crafted a terrific show, Our Time, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. The show stars two veteran performers, KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar. These two powerhouse singers never disappoint their audiences and this show is no exception. Sullivan and Harnar have taken songs from Sondheim and given them Our Time. Under the musical direction and arrangements of Jon Weber we are treated to a new insight into the timeless music of Stephen Sondheim. A man who, in my opinion, may well be the greatest songwriter of all time.
As a longtime fan and admirer of Ms. Sullivan, I relished in her taking me on new and unexpected flights with the artfully selected songs. Her medley of “Pretty Women” and “Joanna” from Sweeney Todd were luscious in their wistfulness. The passion and love she brought to “In Buddies Eyes,” from Follies, transported me to a deeper understanding of the love shared by dear friends of mine, having recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary. Ms. Sullivan has mastered her craft to the point it can only be referred to as art. It is sheer bliss to watch this glorious troubadour effortlessly switch from passion to humor in less time than it takes to wipe away a tear.
And as for Jeff Harnar, well, there is no disputing his ability to join forces with Ms. Sullivan. He never misses a beat holding up his end of this emotional excursion of a show. Mr. Harnar’s voice is like butter as it slathers richness on each lyric and phrase. His “Loving You,” from Passion, coupled with “Losing My Mind,” from Follies, are examples of his wonderful gifts. Like Ms. Sullivan, Mr. Harnar easily shifts from pathos to fancy with a lift of a brow. His rendition of “Getting Married Today” is definitely of Our Time. He brought the new, long awaited “accepted norm” to other songs as well. A highlight for me was his insight into “Could I Leave You.” It worked like a charm.
Sullivan and Harnar blend exceedingly well together. Their longtime friendship and respect for each other is vibrant. If you are a follower of either or both of these two beacons of the cabaret world, make sure you spoil yourself by seeing Our Time more than once. I know I will. If you have been lost in the wilderness and are not familiar with the talents of Sullivan and Harnar, you must come out and have your heart filled with joy.
The show has a limited run, with only four more opportunities to bask in its perfection. It will run July 16, 23 and August 6, 13 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. All shows 6pm.
407 W 42nd St, New York, NY 10036
Photos/Video: Russ Weatherford