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  • Writer's pictureBroadway Beat

OPN: If This Restaurant Didn't Want My Rendition of "Send in the Clowns," They Wouldn't Have a Piano

Updated: Apr 3, 2021

by Kaitlin Crow. @kaitlinmcrow.

Above all else, I’m a performer. The only things I need to put on a show is a stage and one other person. Therefore, the fact that I got kicked out of a restaurant for singing “Send in the Clowns” on the piano is an egregious abuse of power. Pianos are meant to be played and I was simply giving the other patrons the show they were expecting.

I went to the restaurant for a spaghetti dinner, but as soon as I saw that lone piano, I knew what I had to do. I sat down and found it was perfectly tuned. You don’t tune a piano if it isn’t supposed to be played. This situation called for Sondheim.

I could tell the entire restaurant was transfixed, but I owed it to my audience to add something special to my performance. “Send in the Clowns” is a lower energy number, so I decided to add a tap break. If they didn’t want me to tap dance, they shouldn’t have put the piano on a gorgeous wooden floor with ample space after I moved some families out of the way.

I was feeding off of the energy from the crowd. A few patrons were recording my performance and the kitchen staff had come out to watch. I had to make the most of my big finale.

I dialed in to all of the anger and pain Desiree was feeling and channeled that into my performance. I went from table to table throwing plates of spaghetti against the wall; if they didn’t want me to use the props around me, they should have cleared the tables once I started. Instead, the general manager unceremoniously threw me out and gave me a lifetime ban before I even got to belt out the last few lines.

If there was a doctor in that restaurant and someone started choking, wouldn’t you expect them to help? How do you have a piano and a dance floor and expect a performer to not put on a show? My only regret of the evening is that my tap routine didn’t match the tone of the song, and for that, I do apologize to the patrons of the Encino Buca di Beppo.


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