The Mabel Mercer Foundation and Jazz at Lincoln Centerpresent the 17th Annual Cabaret Convention, with specially themed concerts each evening. The roster of vocalists scheduled to perform include Klea Blackhurst, Ann Hampton Callaway, Barbara Carroll, Jeff Harnar, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, Amanda McBroom, Donna Murphy, Steve Ross, Billy Stritch, KT Sullivan, Wesla Whitfield and Julie Wilson, to name a few (all artists subject to availability). As in previous years, audiences from around the world will descend upon Manhattan for this ultimate "New York" celebration.
The Cabaret Convention is the world's premier festival celebrating the art of cabaret and is designed to further honor the memory of Mabel Mercer and her unforgettable and timeless repertoire. This year, the Foundation expands its awards program by honoring an outstanding performer each evening who works tirelessly to bring the art of the song to a thriving audience.
The American Songbook is a national treasure trove that offers the art of cabaret a glorious gateway to an eternal library of legendary musical geniuses such as George and Ira Gershwin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Jerome Kern, Dorothy Fields, Harold Arlen, Johnny Mercer, E. Y. Harburg, Duke Ellington, Leonard Bernstein, Frank Loesser, Cy Coleman, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Jule Styne, Jerry Herman, John Kander, Fred Ebb and Stephen Sondheim, among many others. The mission of the Mabel Mercer Foundation is to preserve the classic American popular music and cabaret with dedication to the traditions so eloquently and unforgettably exemplified by Mabel Mercer, arguably the supreme cabaret artist of the twentieth century.
The schedule of five-themed concert programs is as follows:
Monday, October 16: GALA OPENING
"Say it with Music" an evening of matchless melodies and the wondrous lyrics of Irving Berlin with vocal performances by Klea Blackhurst, Judy Blazer, Barbara Carroll, Bill Charlap, Karen Mason, Steve Ross, Craig Rubano, Sandy Stewart, KT Sullivan and Lumiri Tubo. Special appearance by Marian Seldes. Presentation of "The Mabel Mercer Award" to Steve Ross.
Tuesday, October 17:
"Classic Cabaret Cross-Country" the very best vocalists from all over the U.S. brought together for one special performance. Scheduled to appear are Nancy Anderson, Tony Andriacchi, Karen Benjamin, Stephanie Browning, Allan Chapman, Banu Gibson, Marilyn Maye, Amanda McBroom, Sidney Myer, Jan Peters, Billy Stritch and Ronny Whyte. Presentation of "The Dick Gallagher Award" to Ronny Whyte.
Wednesday, October 18:
"Darling, Je Vous Aime Beaucoup" an evening celebrating the incomparable music of Hildegarde. Judy Barnett, Ann Hampton Callaway, Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano, Greta, Jeff Harnar, Justin Hayford, Karen Kohler, Andrea Marcovicci, Phillip Officer, Georga Osborne and Marlene VerPlanck are scheduled to appear. Presentation of "The Bart Howard Encouragement Award" to Ann Hampton Callaway.
Thursday, October 19:
"It¹s Today!" the Great Popular Songbook performed by voices and personalities that light and enliven the current cabaret scene such as, Klea Blackhurst, Brandon Cutrell, Natalie Douglas, Mary Cleere Haran, Stevie Holland, Richard Malavet, Rosalyn McClore, Suzanne Petri, Alison Ruble, Karen Saunders, Marcus Simeone, Avery Sommers and Robert Whorton. The inaugural presentation of "The Paula Laurence Award" to Klea Blackhurst.
Friday, October 20:
"The Glory of the Gershwins" an evening of song celebrating Ira and George. The final evening brings together Kay Armen, Anna Bergman, Joyce Breach, Beckie Menzie, Tom Michael, Donna Murphy, Jennifer Sheehan, Wesla Whitfield and Julie Wilson. Presentation of "The Julie Wilson Award" to Jennifer Sheehan.