New York

Sibyl Kempson: Born to Run

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Sibyl? Is that you?

As a performer and playwright Sibyl Kempson is frequently a Downtowner’s delight. She makes me want to use whole rafts of outdated descriptives: hoyden, rapscallion, spitfire. Just caught a workshop at Crime or Emergency at Dixon Place, which closes tonight. The play’s still very much in process. Some scenes are indelible, some passable, some obscure, the focus is diffuse. But Kempson does a remarkable turn as a cabaret singer whose numbers bear more than a passing resemblance to Darkness on the Edge of Town. She performs them with stiff-limbed, lockjawed abandoned, accompanied by Mike Iveson and Rich Maxwell, who occasionally lend sprightly harmonies and leaden patter. I’d happily sit through an evening length performance of just these numbers. That would be “Something in the Night,” indeed.

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