Keith Thompson is one of those New York theater mainstays whose only reason for not already claiming a Tony Award is the simple, inopportune luck of the draw.

Keith Thompson is one of those New York theater mainstays whose only reason for not already claiming a Tony Award is the simple, inopportune luck of the draw. His Kooky Tunes has been circulating the New York cabaret circuit since 1998 and, at last, it has been committed to a live recording that truly delivers on his lofty gifts for both scripting and composing. Brought to life by four charismatic performers—Jay Rogers, Perry Payne, Patrick DeGennaro, and Vanessa A. Jones—Kooky whisks listeners through a melange of comic tales and tunes, staying true to the central theme that individuality may sometimes be funny as hell, but it's also endearing and the essence of humanity. Rogers, a tenor Harvey Fierstein, commands the funniest material, including the truck driver-profiling "Haulin' Happiness" and R-rated "Dresser Drawer Blues." Other shining moments: Payne's sitcom-worthy Southern caricature Crystal Powers, Jones' sexy, soulful "Gourmet Meal" and DeGennaro's bravado finale "What If." Kooky Tunes is a must-see, but it's also quite a visual trip on CD. This might be the first standing ovation you've offered from your living room.—CT