This week the Mabel Mercer Foundation is offering its 32nd annual New York Cabaret Convention, with virtual programs on October 25 and October 26 and a live concert at the Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center on October 27.
The program at 7 p.m. EDT on Monday, October 25, “Love Is Sweeping the Country,” will celebrate the fact that cabarets and clubs are opening again all over the United States, with entertainers appearing from Brandy’s, Don’t Tell Mama and the West Bank Café in New York, Davenport’s in Chicago, Feinstein’s at the Nikko in San Francisco, Crooners in Minneapolis, the Oakside Mansion in Bloomfield, N.J., the Pelican Cafe in Lake Park, Fla., Table 26 in Palm Beach, Fla., Jazz TX in San Antonio and the Nevada Room in Las Vegas.
The program at 7 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, October 26, will be hosted by Natalie Douglas and focus on the future of cabaret, honoring the winners of the 2021 Adela and Larry Elow High School Teen American Songbook Competition, Mark Aguirre, Madalynn Mathews, Julia Parasram and Mairéad O’Neil. This look-ahead also will include rising young performers Hannah Jane and Anais Reno, with Ms. Douglas featured in portions of her cabaret master classes.
Links for the Monday and Tuesday streamed shows will be available free of charge for two weeks.
The program at 6 p.m. EDT on October 27, “The Melody Lingers On: A Gala Tribute to the Songs of Irving Berlin,” will honor the immigrant who offered a conduit-in-song to the human condition and emotions. Artists scheduled to perform include Karen Akers, Christine Andreas, Klea Blackhurst, Stephanie Blythe, Carole J. Bufford, Natalie Douglas, Eric Yves Garcia, Aisha de Haas, Jeff Harnar, Nicolas King, David LaMarr, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, the Moipei Triplets, Todd Murray, Sidney Myer, Mark Nadler, Karen Oberlin, Steve Ross, Sandy Stewart, Billy Stritch, Stacy Sullivan and Amra-Faye Wright.
The 2020 Cabaret Convention offered four virtual evenings of song, introducing the foundation to a new, worldwide audience and inspiring 2021’s programming.
KT Sullivan, the performer and artistic director of the Mabel Mercer Foundation, said that no registration is required to listen to the virtual concerts, “but donations are welcome and encouraged. We felt that doing one ‘live’ show for the 2021 Cabaret Convention was a correct, good and cautious step forward, but, of course, we can’t garner the revenue from this that we would from our regular four nights at the Rose Theater.
“The greater percentage of our annual operating budget has always depended upon convention income. We hope those who watch the streamed performances will, as in 2020, generously extend themselves to help maintain and sustain our efforts.”
Donations may be made via mabelmercer.org or by check payable to the Mabel Mercer Foundation.
The Mabel Mercer Foundation was established in 1985 to preserve and advance an endangered part of American musical heritage, the intimate art of cabaret performance and the Great Songbook of its repertoire. It is named after Mabel Mercer, considered by many to be the supreme cabaret artist of the 20th century.