Kathleen Turner – Finding My Voice review at the Other Palace, London – ‘brilliant storytelling’
Kathleen Turner is an instinctive performer who rarely shrinks from a challenge. She made her film debut in Body Heat, had leading roles in Romancing the Stone, Prizzi’s Honour and Peggy Sue Got Married, and was the voice of Jessica Rabbit. Now she’s turned her hand to cabaret.
Her show Kathleen Turner – Finding My Voice features a fairly routine musical set enhanced by a deeply personal account of career spanning 41 years on Hollywood, Broadway and the West End.
Turner’s distinctive, sonorous voice, doesn’t lend itself naturally to song but musical director Mark Janas’ sympathetic arrangements allow the actor to negotiate the numbers. Let’s Fall In Love and Pick Yourself Up are accompanied by stories from her career including being choreographed by Martha Graham and auditioned by Edward Albee.
Episodes from Turner’s personal life are reflected in songs such as Street Where You Live and Sondheim’s Live Alone and Like It, which reveal a pragmatic approach to her divorce and current lifestyle.
Turner is also an activist and she speaks out passionately about her country’s current administration and the rise of the religious right. The more politically charged material is accompanied by renditions of Brother Can You Spare a Dime and You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught.
This London show is a time for reflection and assessment for Turner. Though the quality of the vocals varies, her storytelling technique contains flashes of brilliance and she embraces the challenges of cabaret with courage and tenacity.