Review: Kim David Smith Was Exquisite in MORE MOSTLY MARLENE at Joe's Pub

Kim David Smith exquisitely wove old and new together in this one night only concert at Joe's Pub on February 6th

By: Feb. 10, 2024
Review: Kim David Smith Was Exquisite in MORE MOSTLY MARLENE at Joe's Pub
Review: Kim David Smith Was Exquisite in MORE MOSTLY MARLENE at Joe's Pub
Kim David Smith. Photo credit: Da Ping Luo

Bistro Award-winning singer Kim David Smith was utterly mesmerizing at MORE MOSTLY MARLENE at Joe’s Pub on February 6th at 9:30 pm. Smith captured the essence of that famed star of stage and screen, Marlene Dietrich, and the period she represented. At the start of the night, he appeared in the middle of the room, attired in a smartly cut suit complete with bowtie and top hat with bold glittery lipstick and eyeshadow. Smith sang Dietrich’s “Black Market,” wending his way to the stage through the audience, brushing his hand across shoulders on his way or stopping to sing directly to a few people. That level of connection continued across the entire show. The charismatic singer embodied the essence of a Weimar Germany-era emcee, transporting us back in time while weaving in modern touches. It wasn’t hard to imagine Smith as, perhaps, being in a real-life Cabaret (fittingly, he did sing “Cabaret” flawlessly in German). The show gracefully straddled the new and the old; Smith sung Kylie Minogue’s “Padam” (in French, of course) in the same style and spirit as Dietrich’s 50-year-old tunes. Music director Tracy Stark did a beautiful job with the arrangement: you can see a video of Smith performing the song here.

Smith slipped back and forth frequently between English, German and French, but he uses body language and tone of voice so effectively, it doesn’t matter whether you understand the language. The meaning is still clear. Smith kept up charming patter throughout, explaining that he was an internationally “fam-ish” singer, who would be honoring Dietrich by “talking mostly about myself”; he talked about his life, his marriage and divorce and re-marriage, his immigration to America from his native Australia, which he jokingly said he feared might kill him between the venomous snakes and the way they treat their divas.

Kim David Smith. Photo credit: Da Ping Luo
Kim David Smith. Photo credit: Da Ping Luo

 

The vibe in the room on Tuesday night was lovely, with a very appreciative audience. Smith was joined by a small band, with Matt Podd on accordion, Skip Ward on bass, David Silliman on drums, and Tracy Stark (who also served as music director) on piano. Smith’s “cabaret father,” Sidney Myer, joined him for a lovely rendition of the classic “You're the Cream in my Coffee.” Bright Light Bright Light joined Smith for a very funny cover of Kylie Minogue's "All the Lovers" in which Smith implored the seated audience that even if the song made them want to dance, they shouldn’t. Smith sang, “Just dance” as Bright Light Bright Light crossed his arms across his chest and whispered, “Don’t.”

You can find more information about where to follow Kim David Smith on his website.

Find more shows on Joe’s Pub’s website.



Videos