Oklahoma’s Elizabeth Sullivan Makes NY a State of “Grace”

photo: Maryann Lopinto
Article: Bart Greenberg ~

Elizabeth Sullivan came to the Metropolitan Room on Sunday afternoon, May 22, to grace the stage with her vocal talents and songwriting skills. Words like “grace,” “gentleness” and “wisdom” come naturally in describing the lovely Mrs. Sullivan.

Her daughter Stacy recalled her mother singing hymns in the family kitchen. While the material she shared in My Song was not overtly religious, the selections shared a sense of serenity, and belief in love and in the human spirit. With titles like “You Are the Reason,” “Song of the Chimes” and “Friends,” the singer expressed her devotion to what may seem old-fashioned virtues that still ring true.

Of course, such a family-committed woman would naturally bring some of her large family along to share their musical talents as well, as they sang the matriarch’s songs (as well as some of their own and some by others) that showed off their specialties. Daughter KT. delighted with a energetic version of “The God-Why-Don’t-You-Love-Me Blues” (“Buddy’s Blues”) while daughter Stacy swung through “Lullaby of Birdland” accompanied by surprise guest, pianist Jon Weber. Daughter-in-law Robin Brooks Sullivan also swung with a tasty “(Get Your Kicks on) Route 66”.  And KT and Robin each offered lovely songs penned by Elizabeth inspired by their own marriages.

And the younger generation was represented by: sweet granddaughter Layla Sullivan joining her grandmother for one number; her older brother Montana, a promising composer and hard-driving pianist; and their cousin Savannah Brown, who plays guitar and carries on the family tradition of strong singing.

Throughout the lengthy but charming show, the various members of the family constantly rearranged into various combinations to back each other up and share the songs of the day. Able musical support throughout the event was provided by Dennis Buck (musical director/pianist) and Tom Hubbard (bass).

 Editor’s Note:  NiteLifeExchange welcomes Bart Greenberg back to the staff.  Look for more from him in the coming weeks.  Cabaret followers fondly remember his award-winning “Any Wednesday” series of live CD release events with free performances by cabaret artists with new discs in the days when the Lincoln Center area had large stores with large departments selling the gems in the jewel boxes.