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Eartha Kitt at the Warner

By Stephen Brookes
The Washington Post • November 13, 2007

The great Eartha Kitt: still purring
Is any woman on the planet more dangerous than Eartha Kitt? Even at 80, the original sex kitten can wreak more damage on men's hearts with a simple glance than today's pop tarts can with their entire bodies. And in a funny, flirtatious, high-octane performance on Saturday night at the Warner Theater, she showed the world how to age -- not just gracefully, but magnificently.

"I may be 80," Kitt said midway through the evening. "But I'm still purring!" And purr she did, through more than two dozen of the songs that have made her an icon across a six-decade career. Flashing a pair of still-perfect legs -- and toying with a few helpless males in the audience -- she brought perfect comic timing to classics like "Speaking of Love" ("I could be passionate/If there were cash in it"), "Old Fashioned Girl," "C'est Si Bon" and, of course, her trademark "I Want to Be Evil."

Amazingly, Kitt's elegantly strange voice seems hardly to have aged at all. It's still supple and completely theatrical, sliding effortlessly from sultry growl to coquettish whisper to full-blown roar. But Kitt didn't just sing onstage -- she lived the songs, strutting and kicking and slinking her way through the evening, sometimes just letting her hips do the talking.

And while most of the show was playfully tongue-in-cheek, Kitt showed her deeper side, too, bringing real heartbreak and despair to songs like "Guess Who I Saw Today" and "If You Go Away" (the Jacques Brel song also known as "Ne Me Quitte Pas").

Kitt got fine backup from her band, led by long-time music director Daryl Waters at the piano, with Brian Grice on drums, Lucio Hopper on bass, Joe Friedman on guitar and Carlos Gomez on percussion.

Posted on Wednesday, November 14, 2007 at 09:51AM by Registered CommenterStephen Brookes | CommentsPost a Comment

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