Faith Prince, who calls herself “Broadway’s Quirky Leading Lady” lived up to her billing during her “Have A Little Faith” show, Friday, at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club. It was the first of a two-night stint at the Cabaret for the zany performer who said she had never performed in Indy before, even though she received her training a few hours away at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
It’s been been quite a ride for Prince since her student days in Cinci, beginning with her 1989 Broadway debut in as Tesse Tura in”Gypsy.” Later she won the crown jewel of the American Theater when she was awarded a Tony in 1992 as Best Actress in a Musical for the “Guys and Dolls,” in which she played Miss Adelaide. Working steadily on Broadway and in films and television ever since, Prince most recently starred in “Disaster” on the Great White Way.
For her Cabaret show, Prince was accompanied by pianist Don Rebic as well as by her husband, Larry Lunetta, who played the trumpet during several numbers. How she met Lunetta was just one of the many entertaining stories she shared about her life and career , which she referred to as “curvaceous,” during her show.
Prince opened with a mash-up “Adelaide’s Lament,” from “Guys and Dolls.” Both songs spoke to the breakthrough role that established her as comedic actor who specializes in the kewpie doll, air-head type she has played several time throughout her career.
“Somewhere That’s Green” and “Suddenly Seymour” (which she sang with Rebic), from “Little Shop of Horrors,” were two more songs which showed off the uniqueness of Prince’s voice which is singular in its power and range. The character, Audrey, who sings those songs in the show, was one which Prince said she wished she could have originated. Eventually she did play the part, taking over for Ellen Greene who created the role in the stage version and also in the film.
One of Prince’s particular strengths as a Cabaret performer is in the way in which she connects with the audience. Nowhere was that gift more apparent than when she sang “Hurry! It’s Lovely Here,” and “What Did I Have That I Don’t Have Now” from “On A Clear Day.”
During her introduction to “Man Without a Horn” Prince explained how it was she met Lunetta. While performing onstage in “On A Clear Day” at the Sacramento Music Circus, she noticed him playing in the orchestra pit and it was love at first sight. Eventually Lunetta joined Prince on stage to play while she sang. The musical and personal chemistry between the two of them was, predictably, palpable. later Prince and Lunetta electrified the sold out audience with her rendition of “And The World” from “Cabaret” and he joined in while positioned at the rear of the venue.
Oozing with warmth and personality and gifted at song interpretation, Prince continued showing off her talents when she paid tribute to the show that made her famous, as she sang “If I Were A Bell,” sung by the character, Sarah, in “Guys and Dolls.”
For her encore Prince sang what has become her signature song. A parody song (The Boy From Ipanema) titled “The Boy From,” from “Side By Side, by Sondheim,” it was the perfect conclusion to an evening featuring one of Broadway’s most original talents.
For tickets and information regarding the remainder of the 2016 Cabaret at the Columbia Club Summer/Fall season call (317) 275-1169 or visit www.thecabaret.org.