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2019 FESTIVAL OF INDEPENDENT THEATRES

Kathryn Taylor Rose

FIT Review: Nobody Knows What They're Doing

Everything's coming up Kathryn Taylor Rose in her one-woman cabaret Nobody Knows What They're Doing at the Festival of Independent Theatres.



published Friday, July 19, 2019

Photo: Courtesy
Kathryn Taylor Rose

 

Dallas — Kathryn Taylor Rose has a clarion voice: something between Barbara Cook singing about ice cream and a clarinet. When she sings “Anybody Have a Map?” from Dear Evan Hansen, I teared up, inside and out. The evocative song is perfect for this smart, funny singer, debuting her new cabaret show Nobody Knows What They’re Doing, directed by KelseyLeigh Ervi, in the late-night spot at the Festival of Independent Theatres.

Rose is, well, gorgeous. Her strawberry blonde hair bounces around her rosy shoulders and throat, as she opens her soul to the audience about the terrors of life, weight loss, and depression, and sings like a siren about the joys and redemption of love. As in, what’s not to love about a woman who steps into the spotlight, grabs the mike, breaks a heel in mid-intro, and goes barefoot for the rest of the show?

I first gave Rose a rave four years ago when I heard her hilarious spin on online dating in Love Me, Tinder, also launched at FIT. Her voice is as enticing as ever, and her career has since blossomed to include major roles at WaterTower Theatre and Dallas Theater Center. Out of chorus, and into the sexy-girl roles!

She credits part of her breakthrough to a steady-Eddie weight loss regimen of “green stuff and fatty brisket.” Laughter and applause follow her proud girl declaration that “I lost 85 pounds in two years, y’all,” as she continues with a funny riff on juice cleansers, sweaty workouts, and discovering the joys of Instagram. Her smartphone love affair with “my face” is a revelation.  What woman isn’t listening up and cheering?

The barefoot lady steps onto a stool and her bare-backed dress splits from behind.  Never you mind. Rose simply breaks into song, accompanied by tracks laid down by her pianist Adam Wright, with “Where Are the Simple Joys of Maidenhood,” a song from Lerner and Loewe’s Camelot virtually written for this moment. A magic being from backstage appears with a svelte, long sweater, and Rose delivers a stunning rendition of “Gorgeous,” from Beck and Harnick’s The Apple Tree.  Who would ever choose innocence?

Everybody (including me) who follows Rose’s personal and professional adventures on social media knows that she married two years ago, and we delighted in images of the picture-book wedding. Hence, it’s a shock to learn that there’s any kind of trouble in our gal’s paradise. Yet  as the show proceeds, she bravely and compassionately introduces the storm cloud of her beloved’s depression, coming at the very moment when her own career is rising. She gets a call on opening night, as she’s putting on her makeup in the big, quiet theater.

With bright-eyed clarity, her voice only occasionally quavering, Rose describes her personal response to her husband’s anxiety and depression. She’s forthright and funny when she quotes Woody Allen: “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” Really.

The performer and the wife merge in a wonderful rendition of “I Don’t Need a Roof,” a surprising love song from the Lippa and August musical Big Fish, about how home is made of love, rather than shingles. 

Rose’s specialty is the telling love song. Her life experience, filtered through a beautifully trained voice, finds a special resonance in unusual dramatic songs from the rich American musical tradition. She closes the heartfelt evening with two upbeat numbers: “Sing Happy” from Kander and Ebb’s Flora, the Red Menace, and “Astonishing,” from Dickstein and Howland’s Little Women.

Exactly. What an astonishing performer. 

I only wish she’d dump the electronics. Kathryn Taylor Rose and her lovely voice do not need amplification, certainly not in the intimate theater space of the Bath House Cultural Center.  Heck, this ringing soprano could fill the Meyerson.  I’d love to hear her there. Meanwhile, enjoy the show on the shores of White Rock Lake. 

 

» Nobody Knows What They're Doing is performed:

  • 10 p.m. Saturday, July 20
  • 10 p.m. Saturday, July 27

» The 21st annual Festival of Independent Theatres runs through Aug. 3, 2019 at The Bath House Cultural Center. For more information, visit www.festivalofindependenttheatres.org or call 1-800-617-6904.

To see a breakdown of the groups and shows, go here.

To see reviews and more coverage of FIT, see our special section here.

 

2019 FESTIVAL SCHEDULE

*denotes first appearance in the festival

 

 

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019 (8 PM)

*Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

*WingSpan Theatre Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

FRIDAY JULY 19, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

*Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (2 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (5 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (8 PM)

*Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

*Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

SATURDAY, JULY 20, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Kathryn Taylor Rose in Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

 

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 (2 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

SUNDAY, JULY 21, 2019 (5 PM)

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

 

THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2019 (8 PM)

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

 

FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2019 (8 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Leos Ensemble – small hours

 

FRIDAY JULY 26, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (2 PM)

Leos Ensemble – small hours

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (5 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (8 PM)

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SATURDAY, JULY 27, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Kathryn Taylor Rose in Nobody Knows What They’re Doing

 

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2019 (2 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SUNDAY, JULY 28, 2019 (5 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

THURSDAY, AUGUST 1, 2019 (8 PM)

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

The Very Good Dance Theatre – The 1st Annual Gay Show

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 (8 PM)

Lily & Joan Theatre Company – Marilyn, Pursued by a Bear

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

 

FRIDAY, AUGUST 2, 2019 (10 PM)

CABARET

Jodi Crawford Wright in Songs My Mama Taught Me

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (2 PM)

Imprint Theatreworks – Dirty Dirty Night Squirrel

Audacity Theatre Lab – The Beast of Hyperborea

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (5 PM)

Flexible Grey Theatre Company – Sky’s the Limit

Leos Ensemble – small hours

 

SATURDAY, AUGUST 3, 2019 (8 PM)

WingSpan Theatre, Co. – Jo & Louisa

Bootstraps Comedy Theater – Nerve

 Thanks For Reading




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FIT Review: Nobody Knows What They're Doing
Everything's coming up Kathryn Taylor Rose in her one-woman cabaret Nobody Knows What They're Doing at the Festival of Independent Theatres.
by Martha Heimberg

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