In a combined triumph for the Classic Popular Songbook, its purveyors and adherents, and the professionalism and perseverance of The Mabel Mercer Foundation, that unique organization presents its 30th Annual New York Cabaret Convention at The Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center, beginning Monday, October 28th and running through Thursday, October 31st. The four individual concerts will be offered at 6:00 PM each evening, and more than seventy-five vocalists and musicians are scheduled to perform. Tickets are on sale at the Jazz at Lincoln Center box office and www.jazz.org starting today, Monday, September 9.
Three of the October shows will honor individuals whose remarkable gifts categorize them as major components of the Classic Popular Songbook legacy. Judy! A Garland of Song includes music and lyrics unforgettably offered on film, stage, and recordings by the legendary Judy Garland. The show will be emceed by CabCon favorite Klea Blackhurst and award-winning Garland documentarian John Fricke. Deborah Grace Winer returns to herald the output of exceptional female songwriters, specificallyDorothy Fields but also including (among others) Betty Comden, Carolyn Leigh, and Peggy Lee in the program The Sunny Side of the Street. Jeff Harnar and Andrea Marcovicci – arguably the Foundation’s most resoundingly popular cohosts – salute the Broadway, Hollywood, and Hit Parade contributions created by Frank Loesser, with an evening entitled Heart and Soul. Finally, KT Sullivan takes stage to present a thrilling and affectionate look-back with Thanks for the Memory: Celebrating 30 Years of Cabaret Conventions as well as forward with fresh new discoveries. Finally, and in addition to “surprise” presentations of the annual Julie Wilson and Donald F. Smith Awards, the Foundation specifically honors Sandy Stewart with this year’s Mabel Mercer Award.
A complete roster for the thirtieth New York Cabaret Convention is provided below. Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall is located at Broadway and 60th Street. In addition to the box office, tickets are also available through The Mabel Mercer Foundation or online at www.mabelmercer.org; or by mail: The Mabel Mercer Foundation, 630 Ninth Avenue, Suite 402, New York, NY 10036. The box office is located at Broadway at 60th Street at the Time Warner Center, ground floor (Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.); or via CenterCharge: 212-721-6500.
KT Sullivan, artistic director of The Mabel Mercer Foundation, is exultant about this thirtieth anniversary cavalcade. “As founder of this organization, Donald Smith ceaselessly championed what he knew to be the ‘fragile world of cabaret.’ He would be delighted that we’re stronger than ever, three decades later, and fulfilling our charter in both necessary and new approaches to the entertainment. This year’s performers range in age and experience from the incomparable, ninety-one-year old Marilyn Maye to Anais Reno, who – at fifteen – won our Adela & Larry Elow American Songbook High School Competition Award just a few months ago. Vocalists are coming in from Chicago, Palm Beach, Colorado, and London to participate in the concerts, and we have fifteen singers making their Cabaret Convention debuts in 2019.”
2019 Cabaret Convention Schedule
All artists are subject to availability; an asterisk indicates a New York CabCon debut.
Monday, October 28 The Sunny Side of the Street: Celebrating Dorothy Fields & Great Women Songwriters
Hosted by Deborah Grace Winer; music director Mark Hummel. Featuring Karrin Allyson, Christine Andreas, Debby Boone*, Darius de Haas, La Tanya Hall, Nicolas King, Jay Leonhart, Kenita Miller, James Naughton, Linda Purl, Margo Seibert*, Emily Skinner*, Stacy Sullivan, Tom Wopat.
Presentation of The Donald F. Smith Award, underwritten by Adela & Larry Elow
Tuesday, October 29 Frank Loesser: Heart and Soul
Hosted by Jeff Harnar & Andrea Marcovicci; music director Alex Rybeck. Featuring Karen Akers, Danny Bacher, Anna Bergman, Barbara Brussell, Liz Callaway, Eric Comstock, Sally Darling*, Joshua Lance Dixon, Barbara Fasano, Tovah Feldshuh, Marilyn Maye, Marissa Mulder, Mark Nadler, Karen Oberlin, Steve Ross, David Sabella*, Marta Sanders, Tim Schall*, Jane Scheckter, Lisa Viggiano*, Lennie Watts.
Wednesday, October 30: Judy! A Garland of Song
Hosted by Klea Blackhurst and John Fricke; music director Jon Weber. Featuring Stephanie Blythe*, Leanne Borghesi, Carole J. Bufford, Nathan Chang, Natalie Douglas, Karen Mason, Sidney Myer, Anthony Nunziata, Will Nunziata, Christine Pedi, Hannah Jane Peterson*, Ruby Rakos*, Jennifer Sheehan, Billy Stritch.
Presentation of The Julie Wilson Award, underwritten by Linda & Peter Hanson
Thursday, October 31: Thanks for the Memory: Celebrating 30 Years of Cabaret Conventions
Hosted by KT Sullivan; music director Jon Weber. Featuring Aaron Lee Battle, Celia Berk, Margo Brown*, Tim Connell*, Spencer Day, Shana Farr, Eric Yves Garcia, Sean Harkness, Christian Holder*, Lina Koutrakos, Allora Leonard*, Beckie Menzie, Tom Michael, Susie Mosher*, Gretchen Reinhagen*, Anais Reno*, Josephine Sanges, Marcus Simeone, Avery Sommers, Sandy Stewart, Mark William*, Amra-Faye Wright.
Presentation of The Mabel Mercer Award to Sandy Stewart