Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Applause! Applause! Review of Kitt Holiday & Michael Michelle in Two Black Divas & A Band at Billie's Black by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens

This review of Kitt Holiday & Michael Michelle in Two Black Divas & A Band at Billie's Black was written by Dr. Thomas Robert Stevens and published in Volume X, Issue 4 (2014) of the online edition of Applause! Applause!

Two Black Divas & A Band - Kitt Holiday & Michael Michelle
Billie's Black (271 West 119th Street, NYC)
Reviewed 12/6/14 at 7:30 p.m.

Two Black Divas & A Band was advertised as "A Drag Cabaret That's Not A Drag" due to the fact that the show's stars, Kitt Holiday (Edward Walrond) and Michael Michelle (Michael Lynch), have been singing in drag live for over five decades! To a standing room only crowd, they each alternated sets of three to four songs and then finished singing Stormy Monday and It Don't Mean A Thing as duets. They were backed by a live jazz trio (Germono Toussaint - Music Director/Arranger/Keys; Doug Henrichs - Percussion; Kenji Tokunaga - Bass).

Kitt Holiday announced she was returning to the stage after a 5-year hiatus, encouraged by her friend Michael Johnson, who asked her to sing at two recent events - a memorial service and a wedding. Dressed in a gorgeous gown, Kitt confessed "it takes a lot to get yourself together for one of these affairs" before segueing  into a rousing rendition of I Feel Pretty and Hey Look Me Over. Kitt Holiday, who has been a member of the Beaux Arts Society, Inc. since 1996 and serves on its Advisory Board, went on to perform From This Moment On, Just In Time, You Go To My Head/I Get A Kick Out Of You, Let Me Love You and finished off with the popular audience favorites, My Life and I Am What I Am. Kitt is elegant, talented and a crowd-pleasing performer!

Michael Michelle, who starred in the critically acclaimed underground gay-urban film Chocolate Babies and appeared in Cindy Lauper's all-drag remake of the hit song Girls Just Want To Have Fun, is also an author, having written two plays: About Face - Gay, Black and from the Bronx and No Fats, No Fems - A World of Exclusion. Upon taking the stage, Michael Michelle observed, "I see a lot of hot, handsome men in here tonight, but I'm tired, so one of you is going to have to go home!" On the way over, she claimed her cab driver kept asking if she was a man or a woman, and she kept responding "half and half" before finally revealing her measurements as "42-36-9 1/2." Michael Michelle opened with the controversial I Want A Little Boy and finished her second set with I Hope You Dance. In between, she took us on a journey to North Carolina and sang Gimme A Pigfoot & A Bottle Of Beer, The Lady Is A Tramp, Feeling Good, One Night and Them There Eyes. On the way back to New York, she said she wanted to be taken "like Grant took Virginia - fast and in a hurry!" Michael Michelle has an extraordinarily powerful voice and a very strong stage presence. She is a high-energy performer with a great sense of humor. You will not soon forget her!

Two Black Divas & A Band is a hit! I fully expect you will soon see Kitt Holiday and Michael Michelle gracing the stage of a theater near you. Don't miss the next opportunity you have to catch these Delightfully Divine Divas!

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