Center Stage K.D. Lang

The k.d. lang Canadian songstress steps forward smartly in protracted version of a perf docu that originally aired on VH1. Elegantly voiced, visually just a bit off-center and (these days) firmly in the middle of the artistic road, she's a natural for PBS.

With:
Band: Graham Boyle, Teddy Borowiecki, Linda Kidder, Greg Leisz, Michael Lent, Sue Leonard, Ben Mink, David Sinclair, Greg Wells.

The k.d. lang Canadian songstress steps forward smartly in protracted version of a perf docu that originally aired on VH1. Elegantly voiced, visually just a bit off-center and (these days) firmly in the middle of the artistic road, she’s a natural for PBS.

In L.A market, show gets a 90-minute slot during pledge week.

Concert includes 14 songs, most drawn from lang’s own albums. Set’s heavy on moody ballads, which she does well, and includes a brief spoken segment wherein lang reveals to the audience a deep personal secret

While lang may not be trying as hard for the country market as she was in her last incarnation, steel guitar and fiddle still play prominent roles in her strong-but-subtle band, and set includes country-styled songs, including her interpretations of oldies “Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes” and “Big, Big Love.” Her rangy, smoky voice is ideally suited to Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” which is here shown beginning with her videoduet with the singer, segueing into solo perf from same Chicago concert as the rest of the video. It’s a “creative” touch that doesn’t jar, but doesn’t really add much, either.

Flow of concert is disturbed by a couple of interview segs, which probably won’t mean much to people who aren’t already lang fans. She’s sort of turned her back on the Nashville audience, she explains, because she needs to grow artistically. A biographical intro to the concert might have made more sense to a new audience.

Concert is performed in front of a sizable audience, perhaps composed of the show’s innumerable producers.

Tech credits are good, with director Dick Carter seemingly unafraid of the odd shadow obscuring part of the band or stage set from time to time. Result is, commendably, more spontaneity and a more authentic look than the show might have had otherwise.

Center Stage K.D. Lang

(Mon. (16), 9-10:30 p.m., PBS)

Production: Taped in Chicago by WTTW in association with VH1. Executive producers, Glenn Dubose, Jack Sussman; executives in charge of production, Patterson Denny, Juli Davidson; executives in charge of co-production, Melissa Wohl, Eddie Dalva; director, production and original programs, Donna Wolfe; producers, Dick Carter, Michael A. Simon; line producer, Jamie Ceaser; director, Dick Carter; lighting director, Jim Gendwellas.

Crew: Editor, Don DeMartini; sound, Jim Mancini; scenic design, Michael Lowenstein.

Cast: Band: Graham Boyle, Teddy Borowiecki, Linda Kidder, Greg Leisz, Michael Lent, Sue Leonard, Ben Mink, David Sinclair, Greg Wells.

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