Reprinted from yesterday's late editions
There are certain personalities whose presence evokes a time, a place or a particular attitude about life that extends far beyond the limits of entertainment. Eartha Kitt is a singer, but she also represents an earlier time of continental decadence and sexual mystiquq that has since vanished.
Appearing Monday at the Warner Theater in a benefit for the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, a Washington-based gay rights organization, Kitt's power and magnetism sent the crowd into spontaneous fits of applause and standing ovations. She donated her time for the benefit, traveling from New York on a night off from her show "Timbuktu!"
Whether singing old standards such as "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" or more contemporary songs like "All by Myself," her husky yet sultry voice caressed or ravaged each song, depending on the mood she wished to create. She has the ability to be both tender and cruel, sexual and wisely innocent, and brings a dynamic to familiar material that is lacking in most singers.
Appearing with Kitt was Red Shoes Walking, a Washington musical comedy team that specializes in gay-oriented humor. Their routines were witty and fast-paced, and they displayed a professionalism that is uncommon for a group that has yet to establish a name.Their only drawback is an occassional "in-joke" quality that creates a crusading tone in some of their material.