14th Annual Cabaret Convention—with Salutes to Garland, Wilson and Hirschfeld—Begins Oct. 20 | Playbill

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News 14th Annual Cabaret Convention—with Salutes to Garland, Wilson and Hirschfeld—Begins Oct. 20 The 14th Annual New York Cabaret Convention, the week-long salute of the best of New York cabaret, kicks off Oct. 20.
Judy Garland.
Judy Garland. Photo by Susanne Elstein

Held at New York's famed Town Hall, the week will offer seven performances beginning with tonight's all-star gala. Those scheduled to take part in "The Gala Opening Night" (6 PM) include Karen Akers, Cindy Benson, Ann Hampton Callaway, Liz Callaway, Jennifer Chada, Philip Chaffin, Blossom Dearie, John DePalma, Ray Jessell, Shelley Mac Arthur, Sylvia McNair, Beckie Menzie, Tom Michael, Jessica Molaskey and Jane White.

The second evening, Oct. 21 (6 PM), will pay tribute to one of the cabaret world’s leading ladies, Julie Wilson. "Julie Wilson’s Birthday Party" will feature an appearance by the cabaret legend herself as well as those by Tom Andersen, Brent Barrett, Marnie Baumer, Kirsten Benton, Anna Bergman, Stan Chandler, Charles Cochran, Valerie Lemon, Sally Mayes, Barbara Rosene, Marcus Simeone and Avery Sommers.

Before his recent death, famed caricaturist Al Hirschfeld agreed to be part of this year's convention. The Mabel Mercer Foundation, which produces the annual event, will offer "Drawn By Hirschfeld" Oct. 22 at 6 PM to salute the memory of the artist. That evening will include the talents of artists immortalized in ink by Hirschfeld: Christine Andreas, Christine Ebersole, Jason Graae, Jeff Harnar, Paula Laurence, Marcia Lewis, Heather Mac Rae, Maureen McGovern, Sharon McNight, Mark Nadler, Robert Osborne, Lynn Redgrave, Marian Seldes, Elaine Stritch, KT Sullivan and Tommy Tune.

"A Garland of Songs for Judy" is the title of the Oct. 23 (6 PM) performance and will feature 14 women — Lisa Asher, Klea Blackhurst, Joyce Breach, Baby Jane Dexter, Natalie Douglas, Peggy Herman, Stevie Holland, Debbie Lesser, Colleen McHugh, Lainie Nelson, Jan Peters, Julie Reyburn, Lumiri Tubo and Bobbi Wilsyn — celebrating the music that Garland made famous. The evening is being presented in conjunction with John Fricke’s new tome, "Judy Garland: A Portrait in Art and Anecdote."

The "Friday Night Special" Oct. 24 (6 PM) also offers a starry line-up. Those taking part in the evening of song will include Barbara Carroll, Joan Crowe, Mara Getz, Jane A. Johnston, Alix Korey, Barbara Lea, Michael MacAssey, Karen Mason, Nan Mason, Amanda McBroom, Jeanne Resua, Johnny Rodgers, Maureen Kelley Stewart, Kat’ Taylor and Paula West. Cabaret favorite Andrea Marcovicci will host the Saturday afternoon (2 PM) performance Oct. 25. Entitled "Swingin’ On a Star," the program hopes to introduce the Great American Songbook to the youth of America. Every seat in the theatre will be priced at $25, and the Mabel Mercer Foundation hopes parents and grandparents will bring their children and grandchildren to this special performance. Among the performers offering tunes from the Great American Songbook will be Nina Berman, Barbara Brussell, Craig Carnelia, Daisey Carnelia, Mark Coffin, Spencer Day, Betsyann Faiella, Sammy Horneff, Maude Maggart, Phillip Officer, Jennifer Sheehan, David Staller and Mark Vietor.

The Cabaret Convention will conclude Oct. 26 with "Autumn in New York." The line-up for the 3 PM performance includes Tovah Feldshuh, Sidney Myer, Georga Osborne, Craig Rubano, Billy Stritch and Wesla Whitfield.

Town Hall is located in New York City at 123 West 43rd Street. Tickets are priced between $25 and $100. For more information about the upcoming convention, call (212) 980-3026, ext. 3109, or visit www.mabelmercer.org.

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