The Tony winner for Next to Normal conceived the show to pay homage to and recreate the feel of the now-closed piano bar where he was a frequent performer over the years. Daisy Prince (Songs for a New World) directed the evening.
To help evoke the ambience of the Murray Hill nightspot, guests Amy Spanger and Jonathan Dokuchitz sat at an onstage table for the duration of the performance, enjoying cocktails and providing occasional vocal support as well as delivering solos of their own.
Kitt played and sang a mix of old standards and original tunes with help from some guest performers including In the Heights orchestrator Alex Lacamoire, sister Kathryn Kitt and Broadway actor/composer Jerry Dixon.
In keeping with a Stella Del Mare evening tradition, Kitt delivered a medley of 1980's music including hits of the day and a few iconic TV theme songs such as "The Facts of Life" and "Cheers." Dixon closed this segment with a tender ballad rendition of Crowded House's "Don't Dream It's Over."
Tony Award winner Lin-Manuel Miranda appeared as a surprise guest. Currently working with Kitt on Bring it On, Miranda payed tribute to his friend with an original rap praising Kitt's work — sprinkling shouts out to other mutual friends (with easy-to-rhyme names) including Jenn Colella, Will Chase, Jeff Bowen, Michael Mayer and Andrew Kober. Spanger and Dokuchitz each performed a tune from High Fidelity, and the evening came to an end with Next to Normal's finale "Light" beautifully sung by five Syracuse alumni who have worked with Kitt and Prince in the past.
Here is an exclusive look at the evening at the Pub: