The story of Rick Carpenter is a tale of two cities, Washington and New York. Carpenter, an actor, singer and dancer who has been building a solid reputation on the cabaret circuit, has spent most of the last six years moving back and forth between those cities.

Here in his home town, Carpenter has performed with local theater companies, including the New Playwrights' Theater. Despite being in his mid-20s, Carpenter is an old show-biz hand, having gotten his start at age 7 with the Flying Nesbitts, a local acrobatic group. One of his first singing performances came five years alter. "A bunch of us street corner kids had gotten down the Temptations show including their choreography, cold. When David Ruffin quit the group and played the Howard Theater, we were called out of the audience to sing behind him. We gave him quite a scare."

Although Carpenter still includes Marvin Gaye material from that period in his act, he says that he is basically "a ballad singer. I like to sing a song rather than talk or shout or scream." Carpenter expects to have a new act when he returns to New York in the fall. In the meantime, he'll be performing at the Idex Club on Georgia Avenue