Club Review: Linda Kahn’s “Say Yes!”

November 1, 2022 | By

Linda Kahn performed a wonderful repertoire of songs that successfully delivered on the title of her show, Say Yes!, at the Laurie Beechman Theatre. She made hay out of the curves life throws at us and was totally charming throughout. She opened the show with a medley of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” and “I Want it All”(June Styne, Bob Merrill/David Shire, Richard Maltby), followed by “Don’t Fence Me In” (Cole Porter), solidly establishing her theme. 

Like many people, Linda put her dream of being a full-time performer behind her at a certain point in her life (but not before she got to kiss a younger Tom Selleck in a pilot she did in Los Angeles). She recounted a journey back to the stage that began in 2018 and was interrupted first by a breast cancer diagnosis, and then, in 2019, by lockdown. 

This section was followed by the gorgeous song, “Wheels” (Amanda McBroom), and then the treat of a duet with Christopher Denny, after a very funny comment about the delicacies of the relationship with one’s music director. She also sang one of Denny’s originals, “Anywhere With You,” and it was a beauty. 

The tightly scripted show was well constructed and performed in a very genuine way, and even included a thoughtful poem Linda had written. Themes of marriage, motherhood, and acceptance were all underscored by Linda’s song choices, which ranged from classic American Songbook to theatrical and pop. She was ably accompanied on bass by Jay Leonhart, with whom she performed the very fun mashup duet, “Pick Yourself Up” with “Slap That Bass” (Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields/George & Ira Gershwin). This arrangement was by all three of Linda’s creatives in tow, Denny, Leonhart and director Jeff Harnar. All other arrangements were by Denny and Harnar.

Linda is beautiful to look at, with a lovely voice and great taste. She sparkled in her comedy numbers. I wish I saw more of the emotional connection she displayed in “Wheels” in some of the other ballads. All in all, this was a very satisfying night at the cabaret seeing a long overdue return to the stage by a pro. 

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Presented at the Laurie Beechman Theatre Feb. 19, May 25, and Oct. 22, 2022. 

 

 

Category: News / Reviews / Commentary, Reviews

About the Author ()

Though now Betsyann Faiella is known in New York primarily as a publicist, she came to that profession from two previous careers that contributed to her love of promoting creative people: as a working singer and as a media producer. She made her cabaret debut at the legendary Reno Sweeney. She was the lead singer in a band with Lewis Friedman, the impresario of both Reno Sweeney and s.n.a.f.u. Later she performed in such other iconic venues as Birdland, Blue Note, the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, and Ronnie Scott's in London. She appeared in concert with jazz legends Hank Jones and Paul Smith and performed at arts centers and universities around the country.

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