As previously announced, the 21st Annual New York Cabaret Convention, which salutes the best in Manhattan cabaret, will be held Oct. 7-9 at Jazz at Lincoln Center.
The "Gala Opening Night" will feature the talents of Klea Blackhurst, Carole Bufford, Barbara Carroll (who will present her 22-minute medley of Stephen Sondheim songs entitled "A Suite of Songs for Stephen"), Jeff Harnar, Nicole Henry, Barb Jungr, Amanda King, Andrea Marcovicci, Sue Mathys and Marilyn Maye. In addition to the award presented to Seldes, The Mabel Mercer Award will also be bestowed upon a cabaret artist to be announced at a later date.
The Oct. 8 performance, entitled "If Love Were All," will celebrate the songs of the late Noel Coward. Tony and Emmy winner Elaine Stritch, who appeared on Broadway in Coward's Sail Away, will make a special appearance during the evening, which will include performances by Nancy Anderson, Christine Ebersole, Gregg Edelman, Nicolas King, Sidney Myer, Sarah Rice, Steve Ross, Craig Rubano, Jennifer Sheehan and KT Sullivan. This evening will also include the presentation of the first Noel Coward Cabaret Award, which includes a grant of $5,000, to Jennifer Sheehan.
The convention will conclude Oct. 9 with "Songs for a Saturday Night." Performers are currently scheduled to include Karen Akers, Kevin Dozier, Tanya Holt, Karen Mason, Stearns Matthews, Amanda McBroom, Karen Oberlin, Johnny Rodgers, Avery Sommers and Lumiri Tubo. Nicolas King will be presented with the Julie Wilson Award.
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, which is the "first to perpetuate the American popular song through the art of cabaret."