Last month I went with my husband and our friend Marcia, a fellow cabaret enthusiast, to the South Orange Performing Arts Center, SOPAC. It’s a wonderful theater with just 400 seats, just right for cabaret.
We went to see Mark Nadler and KT Sullivan, and what a performance the two put on! Mark Nadler has a range that goes from romance to comedy to manic energy. He’s known as “the crazy man on the piano.” KT has a voice that is, forgive the cliché, clear as a bell. Among other places, they have both performed at Carnegie Hall, New York City’s Town Hall, and Rose Hall at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
On October 3rd they had traveled all day to arrive in South Orange, and Mark said that he needed the energy of the audience that night to support them. At one point he performed an original pairing of Cole Porter songs “You’ve Got That Thing” and “They Couldn’t Compare to You.” He sang with finesse, and occasionally such gusto and at top speed, without a flaw, that my husband gave him a standing ovation.
Their act was somewhat unplanned. They thought they were doing a Gershwin review, while the program was billed as “Cole Porter and Friends.” Mark quipped that the show was going to be more like “Friends and Cole Porter.” Who cares? (Forgive the Gershwin reference!) They’re troupers, they have worked together so many times, and they improvised a bit. Performing songs by Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart and Irving Berlin, Mark and KT were wonderful together and separately.
SOPAC has a variety of performances including serious theater, comedy, and music of all kinds. If you’re not familiar with the performance space, check out the schedule.