Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Need an Opinion? Just Ask Eartha

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Need an Opinion? Just Ask Eartha

Article excerpt

EARTHA KITT is miffed. Bothered about everything under the sun: The government is corrupt. The public is weak. Record companies are stupid, and Madonna lacks talent. Ask this actress-singer-activist any question and there's no holding back. Kitt simply has to share and thinks people don't do nearly enough of it.

"I love this country, but I don't see any reason why anyone should live in fear of speaking out," said Kitt. "I have to speak out. How much more harm can they do to me?"

Such passion has long been Kitt's trademark. She breathes fire and has maintained a career both because of it and in spite of it.

Her frank spirit has kept her off more than one party list - most notably in Washington, D.C. - but it's made her art come alive, especially her live act, which she brings to the Grandel Cabaret for a week and a half starting Wednesday.

After nearly a half-century in show business, Kitt remains one of the true multi-media originals, flashy and flamboyant with the talent to back it up.

Everything about her is one-of-a-kind, from her exotic looks to the unique way she talks, a mix of earthy sensuality and gentle intelligence.

If angels wanted sex, they'd ask for it in a voice like Eartha Kitt's. She's had hit records, starred in musical theater and played classic television roles like Catwoman in "Batman."

Kitt's certainly had her highs and lows, but like most legendary performers, she always comes back, popping up in unusual shows or movies.

Her most recent turn is an appearance in the art-house documentary "Unzipped," in which she plays herself getting an outrageous professional consultation from the film's focus, fashion designer Isaac Mizrahi - another person she's honest about.

"I like him very much as a person," she says diplomatically. "But I think a lot of his clothes are for attracting attention to his shows."

Kitt believes a similar problem of style over substance dominates the entertainment industry these days. She admires stars like Madonna and Janet Jackson - but for their packaging rather than their talent.

"I'm nobody's fan," she says bluntly. "These people are, as far as I'm concerned, technicians. …

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