Audience: Clifford Bell
I'm sure you've been seeing all the posts from the 300 or so people who filled the first three nights of Kiki Ebsen's run of "To Dad With Love: A Tribute To Buddy Ebsen" at Theatre West.
Because the show has one more 3-show weekend. I wanted to offer my thoughts on why it's an important show to see...if you love music, Hollywood, history, deep personal sharing, wise reflection on family dynamics or major Diva talent.
I first met Kiki coming on four years ago when she came onboard for one of my Variety show Benefits. The minute she arrived at soundcheck I was gobsmacked by what a unique and charismatic woman she is....sleek and stylish but cozy and homespun at the same time. I later learned that she has recorded 7 or 8 cds of original music, spent more than twenty years as an in demand musician for some of the biggest touring acts in the music business, and that she lived on a ranch with about 14 horses that she took care of, often rehabilitating some who came from bad situations and she used the horses offering therapy involving they mysterious emotional healing powers of horses.
Oh...and she is Buddy Ebsen's daughter.
At this point, I think a lot of our community has gotten hip to earlier versions of this show. It began as more of a Cabaret, showcasing the music associated with Mr. Ebsen's long and prestigious career from vaudeville to Broadway to Hollywood movies to the birth of Television. Kiki treated each of the songs to exquisite sophisticated jazz influenced arrangements and then laced them all together with a fascinating narrative about a daughter's relationship to a much older father, a sometimes troubled and distant relationship, and memories of an enchanted childhood inside of the tiny but omnipresent privileged world of Hollywood celebrity.