Music of McNight
McNight The First 30 Years
Moose Hall to Carnegie Hall (and all the Gin joints on the way)
By Jeanne Lieberman
an ambitious title that portends the buckshot barrage of material with its hits
and misses – sort of like her life one would suppose.
Clad in what seemed like psychedelic pajamas there is still something of the
promising youth that won Sharon McKnight, the breakout star of the cartoony 1989
musical Starmites in which she milked the hell out of “Its Hard to be a
Diva” which won her a once in a lifetime Theaterworld award (for outstanding
Broadway debut). And though it may be hard to be a diva Ms McNight still does
it, but in the nicest way.
be impossible to judge her voice, affected as she obviously was by allergies
(to Fire Island?), cracking about the tissues she kept using – “these go on EBay
tomorrow”. Then warning her show has no theme – it’s about everything utilizing
blues & country music to deliver her material.
indeed it did ramble with varying degrees of success. A song about Taiwan, where they eat dogs “When you sit down to your chow, it’s not your chow” was a
stretch. A sing-a-long to “Good Morning America, How are You” was more fun. A
riff on being raised by elves, mother left for a leprechaun, she ran a 7 minute
mile in shoes with pointed toes…went to work for Keebler inserting chocolate
chips… the audience was most generous on that one.
a prolonged buildup to an emotional song “There’s A Kid Inside…I can see her
coming to me…I can’t forget if I tried” she changed emotional direction and
went “cute”, keeping a kid theme, “Animals are People too…what did a turkey
ever do to you to be served on a platter like that?’ the song’s message “Life
can be sweet if you learn to give up meat” which however ended with an homage
to bacon…”What’s a spinach salad without Bacon! Sorry!!!”
Country Western song, “Fernando” included a Hawaiian inspired hand movements
which she taught the audience (and which gradually degenerated into
act is interspersed with such witticisms as “Is the fucking you’re getting
worth the fucking you’re getting?” adding she’s “looking for a gay guy with
lesbian tendencies” then paraphrasing “Wind Under My Wings’ with “did you ever
know that you’re a zero…” ending with “you’re the contempt beneath my
feet…….goodbye”. (That one was clever and much appreciated by the savvy
a song referring to people who decline an evening out saying they have a big
day tomorrow with “I’ve got a b big night tonight and a small day tomorrow”
confiding why she can’t be a cowhands girlfriend “because I can’t keep my calf’s
together” (ouch!) and relating how, when being attacked by a bull, she “was so
tired, I ran” (that was better).
one of her encores she teased the audience with her best material of the night,
a Mae West song, “I’m Everybody’s Girl” making it clear that she should stick
with her forte, songs by that icon and Sophie Ticker about whom she had a one
woman show “Red Hot Mama”.
and clever might fill a cabaret room but she is of the right age now to concentrate
on those two women whom she incarnates brilliantly.
with “I’d like to thank Mary – that should cover everybody” she went to the
lobby where she vigorously sold her C D’s "Offensive Too, Volume
Two" and “Song to Offend Everybody (for those who were old enough to know
better but were too stoned to care”) Charity snapped them up so we know we’ll
be hearing that material soon.
Sharon with myself and
John DeMarco who was responsible for getting her to perform here.
you name these queens attending the show??