The week-long convention, which salutes the best of New York cabaret, will kick off Oct. 29 with a Gala Opening Night that boasts some of the finest in the field (Karen Akers, Christine Andreas, Judy Butterfield, Jason Graae, Karen Mason, Phillip Officer and Paula West) as well as three performers making their Cabaret Convention debuts: Matt Cavenaugh, Shelley MacArthur and Gregory Moore. The evening will also feature the presentation of the Julie Wilson Award to singer Butterfield.
Hats Off to Liz Smith is the title of the Oct. 30 concert, which will pay tribute to the syndicated gossip columnist, who has "championed this vital and exciting world of song." Performers will include Klea Blackhurst, Ann Hampton Callaway, Jeff Harnar, Marilyn Maye, Sidney Myer, Daniel Reichard, Catherine Russell, Jennifer Sheehan and Tommy Tune.
Nancy Anderson, Barbara Brussell, Eric Comstock, Tony Desare, Barbara Fasano, Mary Cleere Haran, Justin Hayford, Sylvia McNair, Craig Rubano, Lumiri Tubo and Julie Wilson will perform Oct. 31 in a program titled We Hear America Singing. The evening, which will feature songs from the Great American Songbook, will also include the presentation of The Dick Gallagher Award to Tony Desare.
The 19th annual convention will conclude Nov. 1 with A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening. Among the performers scheduled to perform are Barbara Carroll, Mary Foster Conklin, Baby Jane Dexter, Eric Michael Gillett, Barb Jungr, Donna McKechnie, Todd Murray, Karen Oberlin, Julie Reyburn, Steven Santoro, Olivia Stevens and KT Sullivan. The latter will receive the Mabel Mercer Award.
All shows begin at 6 PM. Tickets are priced $25, $50 and $100. The Rose Theater is located at Frederick P. Rose Hall within Jazz at Lincoln Center at Broadway and 60th Street. For more information about the upcoming convention, visit www.mabelmercer.org.
Produced by the Mabel Mercer Foundation, the first annual Cabaret Convention was mounted in 1989. Since that time similar events have been produced in Chicago, Palm Springs, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. Donald F. Smith is executive director of the Foundation.