No one makes an entrance quite like Eartha Kitt. Or an exit, for that matter. And who would have confused the balance of her show at Anton's 1201 Club Thursday night with that of any other?
Certainly not the handsome, 26-year-old waiter who was briefly assigned to stand to by her side with a bottle of Dom Perignon at the ready. "Twenty-six!" Kitt scoffed. "No one is 26 anymore -- how would you like to be 66 before the night is over?" And certainly not the elderly gent from Virginia who sat at a ringside table. "Do you have a request, sir?" Kitt inquired, before getting down to the nitty-gritty: "Can you afford the request, sir?" After she purred "Santa Baby" to him, you half-expected the guy to turn over the deed to his house.
Now a grandmother, Kitt is as sly, slinky and sensuous as ever onstage. Her vocal range may be narrow, but when she sings in French or puts her patently eccentric Gallic spin on an English lyric, as she never tires of doing, Charles Aznavour sounds like he's from Alabama by comparison. Musically, the highlight of the evening came near the end of the cleverly tailored show when Kitt performed a lengthy medley of blues and survival songs with a strong autobiographical slant. She didn't just throw herself into these songs, she threw the audience right in there with her.
The engagement runs through tomorrow.