As one of the stars of the musical, "Timbuktu," Eartha Kitt stole the show by her sheer use of sexual mystique and charm.
In her cabaret act, on view at Waaay Off Broadway through March 4, Kitt is putting her sexual magic -- sultry voice, shapely body and alluring facial expressions -- to full use.
It's an act that has worked well for more than 25 years. However, it is less attractive now because she has grown older and most Americans prefer decadence with less mystery. At any rate, the audience on Saturday night loved her.
Kitt came on stage wearing a gold-sequinned gown with a deep split and furs, and launched immediately into "Now I'm Here," a sprightly autobiographical piece charting her prodessional and personal development from "New Faces of 1952," through her tilt with the Johnson administration over the Vietnam War, to the present.
She poked fun at herself ("Maybe I was a new face in '52. Maybe I'm older, but so are you") and others ("After LBJ and Nixon, anything is a laugh").
The show included many Kitt staples -- a bright and breezy "Mad About the Boy," a passionate "I Want to Be Evil," a casual and disappointingly objective "Guess Who I Saw Today," and, of course, her standby, "C'est Si Bon."
She was probably most enthralling singing "All by Myself," a sentimental ballad to which she added aggressive feeling. In the middle of it Kitt delivered a self-reassuring soliloquy about life at 40 ("The taste of life has not been so bad between the tears and joy...").
It was a fine way to move toward the end of a seductive and entertaining show.
Also on the bill are Bruce Hubbard and Vanessa Shaw, both from the "Timbuktu" cast. The two sang as a pair and separately. Their most convincing offering was a "Porgy and Bess" medley, which they performed in Nelson Eddy-Jeanette MacDonale fashion.