I probably haven’t seen the worst cabaret act of all time, but after Nellie McKay at Feinstein’s, I have certainly seen the dopiest. Part naive, lyric-driven song parade and part ecology lecture on the rape of the environment, this curiosity is called Silent Spring—It’s Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature and it features the cute, sincere and woefully misguided actress-singer in the role of late environmentalist author Rachel Carson, who devoted her career to saving the planet from arrogant self-destruction. Ms. McKay is a gentle activist who loves dogs and flowers and everything green, attaching a few songs about nature to a rambling discourse about the dangers of pesticides, insecticides and other acrimonious environmental assaults. (It’s not a show you want to see on Valentine’s Day.) The musical interludes do little to alleviate the academic tedium generated by the disorganized patter wedged between them. One or two critics I respect have high regard for this girl, but all I can see is a vast need for improvement. Her heart may be in the right place, but frankly, this corny little act, which she has constructed from crêpe paper and good intentions, is something of a mess. Read More
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