The artistic director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation KT Sullivan, once again made an astute call and turned over the creation of the third night of the Cabaret Convention to host Rex Reed. If there is anyone in the world who symbolizes music sophistication with a flawless comprehension of what good cabaret performance is about, it is the debonair Mr. Reed. The Convention’s final evening is yet to be heard tonight, but last evening must have been one of the finest chapters in the long history of Donald Smith’s twenty seven year old creation. The musicians, singers, and material, which honored the legendary cabaret performer Sylvia Syms truly represented the highest quality of cabaret performance. Rex also made a great artistic decision….he included himself as one of the vocalists. Rex Reed was a participating member of the golden age of New York life. His unique ability to verbally convey it’s history sandwiched together with personal experiences honored one of the finest artists to ever sing in a nightclub -Sylvia Syms, who as Rex pointed out at the start of the evening…..died the way she wanted, singing in a nightclub (Algonquin Oak Room) to a standing ovation. She then collapsed into the arms of audience member Cy Coleman.
Here are the choices Rex made for this historic evening in the order of their appearance: Barbara Carrol, Maud Hixson, Jay Leonhart, Daryl Sherman, Marti Stevens, Carol Woods, Sally Mayes, Joyce Breach, Nicholas King, Billy Stritch, Ann Hampton Callaway, and Tom Wopat. The only one Rex Reed didn’t introduce because as he stated “this woman needs no introduction”. Marilyn Maye then walked onto the stage of Rose Theater.
The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow night as the Cabaret Convention salutes Sheldon Harnick & Charles Strouse and is hosted by Klea Blackhurst.
(For another article by Stephen and complete photos of this evening go to Broadwayworld.com)
(complete photos of Rex Reed night at the Cabaret Convention at Broadwayworld.com)