BWW Review: YOU'VE GOT A FRIEND at Quality Hill Playhouse
Several hours spent with Kent Barnhart and friends at Quality Hill Playhouse are never time wasted if you love the great American songbook. The current sold out program features two hours of music celebrating tunes music of Carole King, James Taylor, and a few others of similar genre from the 1960s and 1970s.
The show is titled "You've Got A Friend" after the Carole King song of the same name written for her friend James during a low period in his life and career.
Kent Barnhart is there with his baby grand piano and his signature droll sense of humor backed up by Ken Remmert on drums and BrIan Wilson on bass. The three musicians with a rotating cast of singers is more than enough. Kent's singers for this show are Kansas City favorites Christina Burton and Jessalyn Kincaid along with Robert Erik Sobbe just returned to KC after a several year tour on five different cruise ships.
I am always amazed at the depth of the Kansas City talent pool. I saw three shows this past weekend and never heard a false note Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. Christina is a pop contralto. Jessalyn is a soprano, Erik is a lead tenor, and Kent sings the bass staff in group numbers.
The audience roars at Kent's jokes and stories and cheers at many of the twenty-nine separate pieces offered by the group. They start out with the show's title tune "You've Got A Friend" and move forward with several popular commercial folk songs of the early to mid-1960's by Bob Dylan, Peter Yarrow, and John Denver.
The first act ends with eight James Taylor pieces including his iconic "Fire and Rain," "Sweet Baby James," before concluding with "Lean On Me." Act II is mainly devoted to Carole King songs after opening up with "Day By Day" from "Godspell." King's range is worth paying attention to. Ten different numbers take us "Up On The Roof," "I Feel The Earth Move," "Will You Love Me Tomorrow," "Natural Woman." The show ends with the opener from "Hair" "Aquarius/Let The Sun Shine."
A good time is had by all. "You've Got A Friend" at Quality Hill Playhouse runs through July 9. Tickets are available at www. http://www.qualityhillplayhouse.com or by telephone at 816-421-1700.
Photo courtesy of Quality Hill Playhouse and Larry Levenson.