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BWW Review: Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below

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Macaroni And Cornbread Are Just The Beginning

BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below

More Than A Singer, This Actress Also Mined Pure Gold With Her Own Music.

Heigh-Ho, My Merry Rainbow Tribe! Bobby Patrick, your RAINBOW Reviewer here. Putting the silent T in cabareT to bring you all the T!

So, my DAHLINGS, last night's performance of CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL, at Feinstein's/54 Below, introduced yours truly to the words, music, voice, and out-loud life of DEAR EVAN HANSEN's Kristolyn Lloyd, and what an introduction it was. How this singing, acting, tiny titan from Texas has escaped our view until now is a Miss-Terry, but, miss her anymore we shall NOT. An acting, singing veteran of our New York stages since being made one of the HEATHERS in 2014, La Lloyd has la la la'ed her way through off-Broadway, taking on the likes of Heather Duke, Jo March, a non-singing stop-off for a bit of the Bard as Hamlet's nymph Ophelia, for goodness sakes, and then, of course, there was Alana Beck, The EVAN HANSEN classmate that swept her up to the street. Kicking off the evening with the title song from Second Stage's INVISIBLE THREAD, it was clear that the power on stage was matched by the support of her audience in the house. With much call and response reaction from the likes of the FAB-U-LOUS Alex Newell and others, Kristolyn let everyone know that this show was all about her, and there would be no simple shouting of exposition and running off stage for another 5 scenes. You see my dearlings, for Lloyd - who grew up in an all-white, conservative Texas suburb, attending an all-white, conservative school and all-white, conservative Southern Baptist church - the concept of token-ism has not been limited to her work in the theatre. Her performance last night, though, left this rainbow writer a lot more educated (as well as awed) and with the hopes that Kristolyn Lloyd's career will continue its well-deserved upward trajectory.


BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below

HOWEVERS... One can never be sure in this uncertain world - especially in show business - of how an acting career will look in hindsight. Fortunately, along with all the power as a performer she packs into her slight 5'4" frame, this lady (as it turns out) is also a-gifted-from-the-gods songwriter. With more than half her show consisting of her own compositions, Kristolyn Lloyd showed all that she can combine her own poetry with beautiful notes and make songs that soar. A stand-out for little Bobby was her MISTRESS OF WALLS, where she confessed to building said walls around herself for protection. And speaking of confessions (as her show title suggests) this cabaret centered around the revealing of aspects of her past and inner self that may have gone, heretofore, unspoken, but t'was time to have them out, and so she did - withBWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below wit, charm, and exceptional timing that tickled and warmed everyone in the house. The combination of MWAHVELOUS support lent her by backup singers Ximone Rose & Reggie White, in combination with the music direction of the uber-cute Matt Gould, whose arrangements must be praised for their subtle support of his star, always lifting her up from underneath, to show her off, NEVER stepping out in front of her voice, making them all perfect partners for cabaret performances. Another fine bit of support came in the evening's one duet when Lloyd's bestie, Amber Iman (who had also been conscripted to operate the PowerPoint slides for the video screens) joined her onstage for a stellar mash-up of Roberta Flack's SUNDAY & SISTER JONES with Bill Withers' GRANDMA'S HANDS. Never taking her eyes off her pal, Iman brought love from her heart and power from her voice, as the two ladies put this number over, and, in the vernacular of the biz, completely slayed. Given her exceptional acting chops and her clear bright belt, Lady Lloyd was reminiscent of Adriane Lenox, able to Raise the Roof with both song and laughter; never overplaying, always just having a conversation with her peeps, and then - BOOM - her voice.

BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below

If Bobby has to bring some rain with this rainbow and add some critic to this critique it's to say that Kristolyn's use of her script and lyric sheets on a music stand moved from light support to heavy crutch to egregious reader's theatre, as the show progressed. A setlist to refer to is one thing, but continual shuffling of pages (to her credit, she only lost her place once, very briefly) makes one think some homework is more than called for here. It's Kabaret Kristolyn ... Not Karaoke. The problem with calling that out is that Krisolyn's aforementioned affability, timing, and connection with her audience did NOT suffer greatly, and her performance plus her wonderful original songs combined to ensure that the time and money spent (something she thanked the house for) was more than worth it in the end.

BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below

One hopes that, in the time before us, as the business opens up its mind and its casting breakdowns, that this singing actress has her star on the ascendant and that tokenism will continue on its road to the past for her and for us all. Regardless, the discovery of this exciting composer means that Bobby must give Kristolyn Lloyd: CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL...

A Super Strong 4 Out Of 5 Rainbows (One point deducted because, Krystolyn... you know what you did.)

See Kristolyn's Insta-Pictograms: HERE

Look At Her Twitters: HERE

Ande Followe On Ye Olde FaceBooke: HERE

All pictures by yours truly, Bobby Patrick

BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below BWW Review:  Kristolyn Lloyd Debuts Heartfelt Music, Affirmations, & Admissions In CONFESSIONS OF A TOKEN BLACK GIRL At Feinstein's/54 Below


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