by Steve Desroches
She’s toured the world over, but Roslyn Kind remembers Provincetown well.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” says Kind of her upcoming concerts in Provincetown. “It was almost always September that I was there. I remember because I was always rushing home for the Jewish holiday. Oh, and I remember that the old Crown and Anchor had this old, old piano, that was missing a few keys. We worked it into the show and would joke [that] it was as old as the Mayflower. I had some great times there. Oh, and there was a drag queen named Ozzie. He used to do the Supremes and all that. He’d be out there on the street calling for everyone to come to his show. One day someone walked up to him and asked, ‘Are you Roslyn Kind?’ And he said, ‘Yes. Yes I am.’ Ha!”
Kind’s effervescent and bubbly personality zips across the cell towers from Los Angeles to Provincetown, but with a clear Brooklyn accent giving irrefutable proof to her birthplace. She’s hasn’t performed in Provincetown since 1995 and she can’t wait. She’s an entertainer. It’s in her blood.
“Oh, and there was this one time they took my dog and put curlers and ribbons all over,” says Kind of the Crown and Anchor’s drag queens mischievous ways back in the day.
While this Labor Day weekend marks the return to Provincetown for Kind, this summer the multi-faceted performer whose career began right out of high school in the late 1960s, saw a first for her in her storied career. Kind performed a European tour with her sister Barbra Streisand and her nephew Jason Gould, playing the O2 Arena in London, followed by dates in the Netherlands and Germany. And then, as a family, they did two concerts in Tel Aviv, Israel–the first time either Kind or Streisand have ever performed there.
“It was very special,” says Kind. “We had a blast. To be able to travel with family is so special.”
While there her sister received an honorary degree from the Hebrew University, where 30 years earlier, when she was there to dedicate the Emanuel Streisand Building for Jewish Studies in honor of her father (Streisand and Kind have different fathers, but identify as full sisters). One would think that Kind might tire of speaking about, or hearing others talk about her superstar older sister, but there is a definitive sense of pride in her voice and a sweet tone of adoration revealing a strong bond between the two.
“She’s a doctor now,” laughs Kind about her sister’s honorary Ph.D.
On her own, Kind has had, and continues to have, a stellar career performing at venues like Lincoln Center, The Greek Theater, and London’s Cafe Royal. The London Times noted, “To say she is superb would be an understatement.” In 2006 she made her long awaited Carnegie Hall debut with her frequent musical collaborator and friend, Michael Feinstein. She began her performing career while still in her teens with the release of her first album, Give Me You. A whirlwind of performing activity followed, including engagements at the nation’s top nightclubs, acclaim from Time magazine, and three appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show, leading up to her show-stopping New York debut at the Plaza Hotel’s legendary Persian Room. On Broadway, she starred in the crowd-pleasing musical revue 3 from Brooklyn. Additional theatrical credits include the off-Broadway production of Show Me Where the Good Times Are, Leader of the Pack, and Ferguson the Tailor. She also stopped the show in a critically lauded Los Angeles production of William Finn’s Elegies. Kind’s extensive list of television credits include the film Switched at Birth, multiple episodes of NBC’s Gimme a Break, Throb starring Jane Leeves, and a humorously memorable turn as herself on CBS’s The Nanny.
“I was auditioning for a soap opera and friends asked, ‘Why are you doing soaps?’,” says Kind. “I would answer, ‘Did you ever hear of work?!””
Kind has appeared on virtually every major talk/variety show, including the Tonight Show, Saturday Night Live, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood, and Good Morning America. Among her international television credits are England’s Pebble Mill Show, Canada’s Musique Plus, and Unscripted Bio, as well as For Me…Formidable, a Charles Aznavour special for European TV co-starring Dusty Springfield.
“Everybody asks me that,” says Kind as to which genre of entertainment is her favorite. “Each one of them has something special. I love performing concerts for a live audience because it’s one on one. On the other hand I love doing a character. I love all the aspects of performing. Whether it’s 20,000 people or a small cabaret. It’s great to have an intimate room. There is something about it that is so personal. The trick is to take that room with 20,000 people and make it feel like an intimate show.”
Kind speaks of the future with a giddy excitement. Projects are in the works that can’t be named yet. More recordings are imminent. She’s looking for more projects on television and Broadway some day. But for now, she’s focused on kicking off her American fall tour in Provincetown.
“My bottom line is to make people happy,” says Kind. “The world is in such a state. If I can go out there for an hour, an hour and half and make people happy, to change their mood. Just to know that maybe I’ve touched someone’s heart. That’s what it’s all about to me.”
Roslyn Kind will perform on Monday, September 2 and Tuesday, September 3 at the Paramount at the Crown and Anchor at 8 p.m. For tickets ($40/$60 VIP) information call 508.487.1430 or visit onlyatthecrown.com.