By Laura Wasson
Monday’s (un)common threads performance with Gabriel Kahane at Zankel Hall began on a somber note. Jimmy Zankel, co-chair for the Notables Committee that hosted the event, asked the audience to pause for a moment of silence to remember the lives lost and deeply effected by both Sandy and the massacre in Newtown, CT. It was a beautiful and respectful moment that punctured an otherwise joyous and fun evening with a touch of reality.
Zankel also spoke about the power of music to heal, and Kahane set out to do just that. He opened with "Charming Disease," a sophisticated and subtly painful ode to the depths of alcohol addiction. His rich, strong baritone allowed every word to shine brightly, revealing his exceptional skill as a lyricist. Much like Jimmy Webb or Paul Simon, Kahane has a real ability for weaving eloquent and vivid stories into his songs; it was hardly a surprise to discover he had written a musical, February House, that premiered at the Public Theater this past spring.