As far as cabaret is concerned, it's Christmas in October, as various cities begin to announce their holiday plans for A Holiday Cabaret, the annual charity concerts held to benefit local children's charities. In 1999, eight cities will join in the event, including Berkeley, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Portland (Maine), San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Film star Danny Glover ("Lethal Weapon") will m.c. the Berkley, California concert Dec. 3 at the Black Repertory Group Theatre. Susie Butler, George Ashworth, Ron Gill, the Sal Carson Big Band and Latisha Butler will perform for the benefit of TACE (Tutorial and Cultural Enrichment).
Boston's cabarets will pour forth performers Kent French, Erica Leopold, Will McMillan, Lillian Rozin, Melinda Stanford and Doug Hammer Dec. 3 at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.
Scheduled for Dec. 6 at the Mercury Theatre, Chicago's Holiday Cabaret benefits Teen Living Programs. Performers include Windy City diva Hollis Resnik alongside Ester Hana, Tom Michael, John Eskola, Alexandra Billings, Denise Tomasello, Becca Kaufman, Kari Howard, Christianna Moffa, 3 Girls 3, Jennifer Bradley, Joannie Palatto, Bradley P. Sparrow, Chester Munro, Elizabeth Doyle, Maureen Christine, Anne Pringle, Mark Burnell, Claudia Hommel, David Gallagher, Suzanne Petri, Nan Mason, Bob Moreen, Suzanne Palmer, Carol Weston and more.
Los Angeles' concert for LA's BEST (Better Educated Students for Tomorrow) will be held Dec. 5 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale. Well known cabaret artists Lee Lessack and Amanda McBroom (author of the musical Heartbeats) will sing with Dale Kristien (Christine, The Phantom of the Opera), Karen Benjamin, Alan Chapman, Carolyn Sykes, Kate Peters, Joanne O'Brien, Renee Orin, Stephen Applegate, Anne Kerry Ford, Jeff Rizzo, George Ball, Marie Cain and Claudia Anderson. Other holiday benefit cabarets are planned for San Francisco (Dec. 6 for Pediatric AIDS Hospital) and Washington DC (Dec. 3) .
A Holiday Cabaret was begun in Los Angeles four years ago by Karen Benjamin and D. C. Anderson in a small parlor concert where the only admission was a children's present to be given to Para Los Ninos (For the Children), a local charity. Today, Anderson and Margaret Irwin head up a national effort to hold low priced concerts (usually $20) for the benefit of children's charities.
-- By Christine Ehren