Eartha Kitt: Ain't No Stopping Her Now
By Tom Steele
If slinky didn't exist, Eartha Kitt would have invented it. She's as feline and seductive as ever. Her snapping eyes still glisten like moistened midnight, and she has the lithe legs of a 22-year-old, a fact she flaunts by wearing a maroon velour gown that's split from the hem to the waist. And like the truly remarkable Keely Smith, Kitt's unmistakable voice is every bit as well preserved as her voluptuous figure. Her material is tastefully chosen'none of that silly (if famous) purring, no 'Santa Baby,' lots of French ('La Vie en Rose,' 'C'est Si Bon,' a Brel medley), some naturals ('Mad About the Boy,' 'Come On-a My House''sung in Japanese'she can sing in 10 languages!), some surprisingly good fits ('I Will Survive,' 'Mad About the Boy'), and plenty of hilarious banter. Remember, this is the woman who was game enough to parody herself by playing Catwoman on TV's Batman, but this is also the woman who upbraided Lady Bird Johnson at the White House over the Vietnam War. She is completely aware of her devoted gay following, and proves it throughout her performance in various ways. She proves beyond the slightest shadow of a doubt that she is'and always was'a consummate professional who can still play an audience like an accordion. Through July 2, 2005, at Caf' Carlyle, 35 E. 76th Street, New York, NY. Call (212)744-1600 for tickets.