(June 15 & 16, 2002)
June 28, 2002
I suppose I've been a bit spoiled after having seen Kevin play the leading man in "Side Show" recently, but I left "Follies" with one thought in my mind...I wish I could've seen more...wished Kevin would've sung more...danced more....but, what I did see, I definitely liked.
I've done my share of gushing about Kevin's beautiful voice and about his superb acting so I thought I'd focus this fan review on an aspect of his performance I had never seen before...his dancing. In "The Story of Lucy & Jessie", Kevin came out with Austin Miller and Trevor Brackney (two dancers by trade) and did an excellent job with the difficult choreography of the 20's style dance sequence. I've come to realize, from watching Kevin's shows, that he has such an amazing stage presence that no matter how small his role, he'll be a scene-stealer each time. Although Austin and Trevor were great, Kevin, not only kept up with trained dancers, but added a few little extras that I love to his performances that made him stand out.
His featured duet "You're Gonna Love Tomorrow" in the second act with Tia Riebling was definitely one of the highlights of the show for me. When he & Tia ran in to begin the number and Kevin sang his first line, you could almost hear the audience gasp at the power of his voice. Up until that point in the show, he hadn't sung a single line alone (unless you count the little one word lines in "Waiting for the Girls"...) and it was a rather cruel teaser to be a Kevin fan and have to wait for the second act to finally hear his beautiful voice, however it was worth it.
More than just his voice, though, the thing I loved about his performance was the energy he gave the number. I loved the way he emphasized certain words in the song and made it sound infinitely more interesting than it was written or the little wink he gave Tia as he spun her around and sang, "Blue chip...perferred". These little extras that I've noticed in every one of his performances is what makes Kevin stand out and it's what makes people talk about him as they exit the theatre...no matter how small his role.
While the show wasn't really one in which Kevin was really allowed to showcase his vocal range,...it was great to see him share the same stage with theatre legends like Donna McKechnie, Patty Duke, and Carole Cook. Also, I've always been a huge fan of Sondheim's and have always marveled at the score for "Follies" (and thought it was among his better works). It was certainly a wonderful treat to see Kevin perform in it - and I'm looking forward to the day, 25 years from now when, hopefully, he will be on stage playing the role of Older Ben....Well, that's a long time off...:o)