McBroom, Kellaway Deliver Evening of Universal Emotion

Amanda McBroom made a wise decision when she got together with pianist Roger Kellaway. In the opening date of a two-week run at the Cinegrill on Wednesday, McBroom--working only with Kellaway’s meticulously sensitive accompaniment--gave one of her best-ever performances.

McBroom made another astute choice when she elected to devote most of her program either to her own originals or to offbeat, cabaret-style material. While her songs can sometimes verge dangerously close to sticky, interior sentimentality, numbers such as “I Want to Dance” and “Make Me a Kite” were appealingly open expressions of universal emotion. And even her less effective pieces came alive with the perceptive support of Kellaway’s imaginative piano lines--always present, always in contact with the song, never intruding upon the singer.

The only flaws in the show had to do with McBroom’s vocal presentation. As in the past, she tended to overkill the climaxes of too many songs. And a noticeable break between her chest and head tones suggested that she would do well to lower the pitches on some of her tunes. * Amanda McBroom at the Radisson Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel Cinegrill, 7000 Hollywood Blvd. Tonight, Friday, June 28 and 29 at 8 and 10:30 p.m., $20; Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday and June 30 at 8 p.m., $15. $10 per person minimum purchase. (213) 466-7000.