Kate Baldwin made her Broadway debut in The Full Monty in 2000 and since then she has appeared in a number of musicals around the U.S. Her live tribute to the great lyricist Sheldon Harnick (who made his writing debut in the 1950s and is especially known for his huge hit Fiddler on the Roof, written with composer Jerry Bock) was recorded over several nights at Feinstein's in New York City. The intimacy of these performances is left intact as some of the singer's comments about herself and her love of Harnick's songs are retained, while Harnick joins her as a guest vocalist on several songs. Baldwin's skills as an actress frequently come into play, particularly as the alto subtly conveys the humor in pieces like "The Boston Beguine." Of course, the highlights are the selections from Fiddler on the Roof, which includes one song dropped during the pre-Broadway tryouts ("Dear Sweet Sewing Machine"). Baldwin shines in her stunning medley of "Sabbath Prayer," "Far from the Home I Love," and "Matchmaker." She invites Harnick to the stage to sing a spirited duet of "To Life," while "If I Were a Rich Man" is a fun solo feature for the octogenarian. He returns at the end of the CD for a warm duet with Baldwin of "Sunrise, Sunset." Baldwin's backing musicians, including pianist Scott Cady, woodwind player Andrew Sterman (who mostly sticks to flute), and bassist John Beal, do a superb job accompanying the singer. Those who have not seen Kate Baldwin on-stage are in for a treat when they hear her in this popular Manhattan nightclub.
AllMusic Review by Ken Dryden
Fiddler on the Roof Medley: Sabbath Prayer/Far from the Home I Love/Matchmaker [From Fiddler on the Roof]