Kevin Smith Kirkwood, currently appearing on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots – will bring Classic Whitney:Alive! back to Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater. After playing to packed houses there and at The Cutting Room and being hailed as a Critics’ Pick by Time Out New York, Kirkwood will again channel the voice, look and spirit of the late legend Whitney Houston with new songs and new costumes on Monday, July 31 at 9:30 PM. Once again, Whitney ascends from the choir of heaven and inhabits the body of Kirkwood to perform renditions of special live concert arrangements of hits from the diva’s incredible catalog. The show was hailed as “pitch perfect” by The Huffington Post, with BroadwayWorld.com calling it “thrilling,” adding “Kirkwood’s good-natured performance delivered Whitney at her best.” According to Washington Square News, “To say that Kevin Smith Kirkwood dazzled as Whitney Houston would be an understatement. You couldn’t take your eyes off of him!” Backed by a full band and three back-up singers (who also play guests, including her mother Cissy Houston, brother Gary, and Bobby Brown), Mr. Kirkwood serves Whitney realness with a script that is constructed from excerpts of her live concert banter and interviews.
The New York Times wrote “Mr. Kirkwood is fabulous in drag!” in Off Broadway’s How to Save the World and Find True Love in 90 Minutes and also hailed him as “hilarious!” in It’s Karate, Kid, The Musical! The Houston Chronicle exclaimed “Mr. Kirkwood’s Trixie registers as a genuine dish- a vivacious femme fatale (with a big belting voice to boot)” and The San Francisco Chronicle raved about his “astonishing Whitney Houstion-ish star turn” in Dragapella! Starring the Kinsey Sicks!
Kevin Smith Kirkwood toured in the tole of Mitch in Tony Award-winning musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and earned a 2005 New York Innovative Theater Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor for It’s Karate, Kid! He can currently be seen wowing audiences in Broadway’s Tony Award-winning musical Kinky Boots and stars as Roxy in the recently released feature horror film titled Condemned (written and directed by Eli Morgan Gesner and also starring Dylan Penn and Lydia Hearst).
Classic Whitney: Alive! is written by Mr. Kirkwood, directed by Ray DeMattis, with musical direction by Drew Wutke (Into the Woods, Little Fish), and features vocalists Jaleesa Beavers, Kerry Flanagan and Michael Stiggers, Jr. Costume design is by Kirkwood and Marcus Desion with wigs by Sabanah Styles (Kinky Boots).
The venue is located in The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street (between East 4th and Astor Place) NYC. For tickets – which cost $25 – call (212) 967-7555 from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM or visit joespub.com, or visit in person at the venue box office from 2:00 PM daily. There is a $12 food / two-drink minimum per person per show, unless otherwise noted.
Named for Public Theater founder Joe Papp, Joe’s Pub opened in 1998 and plays a vital role in The Public’s mission of supporting young artists while providing established artists with an intimate space to perform and develop new work. Joe’s Pub consistently presents live music and performance nightly, continuing its commitment to diversity, production values, community and artistic freedom. The organization also offers unique opportunities like New York Voices, an artist commissioning program that provides musicians the resources and tools needed to develop original theater works. Commissioned artists have included Ethan Lipton, Toshi Reagon, Bridget Everett, Allen Toussaint and more. In 2011, the Pub received a top-to-bottom renovation, leading to improved sightlines, expanded seating capacity and a new menu from acclaimed Chef Andrew Carmellini. With its intimate atmosphere and superior acoustics, Joe’s Pub presents talent from all over the world as part of The Public’s programming downtown at its Astor Place home, hosting approximately 800 shows and serving over 100,000 audience members annually.
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