After Brain Surgery, Kim Sutton Will Bring LIVE TO TELL to the Beechman
MAC- and BroadwayWorld Award-winning performer Kim Sutton (who underwent deep brain stimulation surgery recently to treat progressive essential tremor) is well enough now to be bringing a bold new show "Live To Tell" to the Laurie Beechman Theatre for three shows this March.
The show celebrates her life with an eclectic musical set that samples 48 tunes by Madonna and recounts her childhood, years as a sailor and her three brain surgeries.
Kim's care team from Mount Sinai will be attending the show on March 5 at 1 p.m. to show solidarity and support for her. Performances are March 2nd at 7pm, March 5th at 1pm and March 16th at 7pm.
"Sutton pulls out all the stops in a show that's part cabaret, part spectacle and part theater," BroadwayWorld writes.
This is the story of Sutton's struggle with essential tremor and the life-changing surgery she underwent, which has allowed her to continue performing.
She had her first of a three-part deep brain stimulation surgery on January 27, 2016. The second surgery was on Feb. 22, 2016, and final surgery on March 4, 2016. These surgeries, performed by Dr. Brian Kopell, Director of the Center for Neuromodulation at The Mount Sinai Hospital, gave Kim her life back and have enabled her to continue with her career as a performer.
Ten years ago, Kim Sutton (now 51 years old), was told by her primary care doctor that her head was shaking and she likely had a tremor. Kim was in a bit of denial about what was happening. Her mom died at a young age and her father died of MS, so she avoided seeing a neurologist, afraid that she too would be diagnosed with MS.
Slowly, her two daughters and husband began pointing out to her that her head was shaking. Two years later, a neurologist in Pennsylvania (near her home in Western New Jersey) diagnosed her with essential tremor (ET). At the time, she was living and working as a stay-at-home mom raising her two daughters.
Four years ago, when her youngest daughter went off to college, she decided to pursue her passion for performing. She began performing in NYC, and this "second career" really began to take off. She was welcomed into the performing arts community with open arms.
At around the same time, her health related to ET started to go south. She was unable to hold the microphone in her right hand and the tremor began to affect her vocal chords. She spent a lot of time trying to hide the tremor and altering her vocals to adapt to how the tremor was affecting them.
Two years ago, she was referred to neurologist Ritesh Ramdhani at The Mount Sinai Hospital. At this point, her tremor had gotten bad. Her head was shaking, she was spilling things, she could barely recognize her own handwriting, her vocal chords were also affected.
Working with her neurologist, they tried several medications (a beta blocker and anti-seizure meds that can sometimes help with ET) and began getting botox injections into her neck to paralyze the muscles that were affecting her head tremors. Things were progressing and simple things - such as buttoning her shirt, putting on a necklace, drinking out of a cup, or writing a letter - became problematic and life-changing.
When it seemed like nothing was working, deep brain stimulation surgery was suggested. Kim stresses that she never knew surgery was an option and that DBS information is not readily available to many who suffer with ET.
Kim is doing well now and is appreciative of the little things in life: drinking a cup of tea without dribbling it on her lap, singing with her whole voice, and, of course, being able to hold a microphone while performing onstage.