BWW Reviews: Kristin Towers-Rowles Makes Impressive Debut @ Sterling's
On Sunday July 24, actress/singer Kristin Towers-Rowles debuted her one-woman cabaret A Lovely Lineage at Sterling's Upstairs @ Vitello's to resounding success. The amazing singer, who is the grand daughter of legendary MGM musical star Katharine Grayson and Broadway veteran Johnnie Johnston, saluted them both as well as her musical comedy performing parents Patty and Robert Towers. Although the young descendant of American show business royalty has a stupendous background, her life has not been that rosy. Playing a role onstage in a show called Veggie Tales, Towers-Rowles popped a disc in her back from wearing a 50-pound costume and was told she would never appear on stage again. She made a near complete recovery and although she still is in pain, exclaims, "If I have to hurt, I might as well hurt on stage." It is this unsinkably brave spirit that is present in her beautiful singing voice, in her glowing personality and overall captivating aura. She has an infectious sense of humor as well.
With great musical director Joe Symon at the piano and providing background vocals and Mike Deutsch on drums, Towers-Rowles glided through a 50-minute set that included: a cute parody of "Broadway Baby" called "Hollywood Baby" to set the appropriate tone, the funny "Vanilla Ice Cream" from She Loves Me, that suits her vocal prowess so very well, the ever beloved "Popular" from Wicked, "He Plays the Violin" from 1776, Sondheim's meaningful "Move On" from Sunday in the Park with George, a beautiful song by Maury Yeston "New Words" and as encore Sondheim's delightful "Lovely". She showed great comedic purpose with "Shroeder" from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, feigning a playful seduction of Symon around the piano.
The medley in honor of Grayson included: "Make Believe", "Can't Help Loving That Man", "I Hate Men" and "You Are Love". In salute to her grandfather she ably performed a 40s rendition of "Unchained Melody".
It is difficult to argue with real talent and Kristin Towers-Rowles has it in spades. She has the gift of song from Kathryn Grayson and all the other ingredients so important for success that have been lovingly passed on to her by A Lovely Lineage. May she continue to use them well and prosper!