The "Gala Opening Night" will feature the talents of Klea Blackhurst, Carole Bufford, Barbara Carroll, Jeff Harnar, Nicole Henry, Barb Jungr, Amanda King, Andrea Marcovicci, Sue Mathys and Marilyn Maye.
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 host 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: A grant of $5,000 will be given to the cabaret performer chosen to receive the award, which is funded by the Noel Coward Foundation and administered by the Mabel Mercer Foundation.
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.
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."