Barbra Streisand may have just reached her 70th birthday, but her younger sister, Roslyn Kind, staged a celebration of her own, returning to the Brooklyn Center for the Performing Arts for a concert she called "Coming Home." Looking stylishly elegant in a black sequins top and matching pants, Kind commanded the stage with a veteran performer's poise and confidence. Unfortunately, microphone reverberation and sound echos caused frustration for Kind (as well as the audience) and got the show off to a rough start. It was only into about the sixth number that the sound problems were resolved and Roz was able to finally find her groove. In spite of the technical problems, however, she charmed her fans with her humor and personal stories, and wowed them with her pure, gorgeous voice.
"Sometimes it's nice to get out so you can come back," said Kind, who spoke fondly of her early years growing up in Brooklyn's Vanderveer Estates, and reminisced about the Pickle Barrel and the old subway lines. Each story segued easily into the next number as she continued her personal journey through humor, song and expression.
Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Getting to Know You" showed off her lower range while Cy Coleman's "The Best is Yet to Come" showed off her upper register and spot-on pitch. She sang songs from her youth, paid tributes to her late dog, Josh, honored greats like Karen Carpenter, Richard Chamberlain, Marilyn and Alan Bergman, and gave shout-outs to her fans, Grandma Esther, her mom, and even her 87-year-old dance teacher, Luigi, who was in the audience. But she never mentioned her legendary sister once during the entire 70 minute performance.
Confidence and dance moves were no issue for the 61-year-old singer. "I love to strut," she proudly proclaimed as slinked and grinded to continuous piano vamps of Chicago's "All That Jazz" overture. "Is this doing anything for ya?" she asked as she finally broke into the iconic sexy jazz number. Probably my least favorite of the evening, the raw, gritty style of the piece didn't seem to suit her lush, smooth tones. However, she was back in her element and redeemed herself on Marilyn and Alan Bergman's "How Do You Keep the Music Playing," which was an absolute perfect marriage of voice, piano, and audience appeal.
Roslyn Kind is a dynamic performer with a clear, powerful, and controlled voice, and who understands the essence of a song's crescendos, climaxes and tapers. She has the ability to take a square and round out the corners, eliminating the brassy, harsh tones in favor of a lush, gorgeous sound. An example of this is heard in Stephen Schwartz's "Meadowlark," where she takes a harsh, belting piece and turns it into a smooth, velvety sound without losing the essence of the song's meaning. You hear hope, agony, frustration, humor, fun, and love throughout each piece as she magically transports you through time and space.
Closing out the show, Roz performed a spellbinding and enchanting version of Leslie Bricusse's song from the film, Superman, "Can You Read My Mind?" If Kind could have read the audience's mind, she might have realized they were all yearning for more.
Roslyn Kind is a unique performer who has an established fan base, a refined, emotive voice, and touches the audience through her glorious songs. She has a clear vision of her life and resolutely follows her Grandma Esther's advice who said, "Always go after your deepest dreams... and never stop until you do."