Pretty with a spirited smile and eyes that can twinkle or turn movingly soulful, Nalley is poised and accomplished, and she moves well-her body convey emotion. She is quite a good actress, sexy and flirty in Act One and affectingly poignant in Act two
Lady Sings the Blues Again in SF
Review by Robert lee Hall
Peidmont Post wed. 7/12/06
She was raped, she was a maid, she was a whore, she was a junkie. And she became one of the great jazz legends. We're talking Billie Holiday, she of the tremulous, broken hearted voice, and though she died decades ago, she's singing again live in San Francisco.
To be more precise, her latest incarnation is singing.
That incarnation is vocalist Kim Nalley, owner of the North Beach venue Jazz at Pearl’s, and recently named one of the Ten Most Influential African Americans in the Bay Area.” The show in which she does Billie, “Lady Day In Love” by CJ Verburg is now at the Fellowship Theatre Guild on Larkin Street in San Francisco. http://www.fellowshiptheater.com
Though Lady Day is a mixed bag it is worth seeing. Most important, it is an excuse to hear those song- “The Man I love,” “god Bless the child,” “Strange Fruit” and the like. That, after all, is why we show up.
Fortunately Kim Nalley sings them. She not Billie Holiday-Holiday was one of the most famously limited singers (part of the wonder of her achievement is that she did so much with a voice of narrow range and power) and Nalley clearly has it over her in the quality of her instrument - but she sounds at moment uncannily like her, and she’s terrific even when she doesn’t, when she lets herself shine through.
Pretty with a spirited smile and eyes that can twinkle or turn movingly soulful, Nalley is poised and accomplished, and she moves well-her body convey emotion. She is quite a good actress, sexy and flirty in Act One and affectingly poignant in Act two, when she embodies the heartbreak of a wounded soul. In those final moments Holidays tragic/triumphant spirit fills Harold Thurman Hall.
White gardenias adorning her hair, Kim Nalley makes “Lady Day In Love worth seeing.