Theater News

The Oak Room Hosts the Second International Festival of Cabaret

Singers Natalie Gamsu and Michel Hermon will present their new shows on alternate and consecutive Sunday and Monday nights from September 10 through October 16 at the Algonquin Hotel’s renowned Oak Room in what is being billed as the Second International Festival of Cabaret.

Gamsu brings the feel of her native South Africa to her new show “Stranger,” singing songs not only in English but also in the percussive-sounding South African language Xhosa. Backed up by a trio featuring her musical director Ross Patterson on piano, Eva Atalis on violin, and Aaron Heick on various woodwinds, “Stranger” (written by Gamsu’s long-time collaborator Gary Carter) has a thoroughly international flavor, with songs in Hebrew, Yemeni, and French as well.

Hermon, already well known in France as one of the most original interpreters of Edith Piaf, presents his new Marlene Dietrich show “Awake in a Dream” at the Oak Room. Directed by Avra Petrides, “Awake in a Dream” is an exploration of the paradoxes of the legendary Dietrich’s many personas, from her high romanticism to her no-nonsense pragmatism. “Falling in Love Again,” “Something I Dreamed Last Night,” and “Honeysuckle Rose” are just a few of the classic songs included in the program.

The International Festival of Cabaret returns to the Oak Room after its successful debut last year. According to Arthur Pomposello, the room’s cabaret manager, “The idea behind festival is to broaden the horizons of our audiences. We tap into the deep reservoir of talent coming from beyond our shores to experience styles, perspectives, and material we don’t often see.”