To all of Our Cherished Friends-in-Song: “Let’s GO . . . on with The Show!”
Irving Berlin communicated like nobody else, and whether it’s his foregoing lyric — or such titles as “Say It With Music” or “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy” — he provides our ideal means of saluting you today. He’s also the perfect composer/lyricist for us to honor as The Mabel Mercer Foundation delightedly (and gratefully) announces The 32nd Annual New York Cabaret Convention!
It’s not a comeback, of course; we definitely (some would say “defiantly”!) never went away. Yet as the world once again comes alive, so does the “live” sound of music. For this year, we’re going to ease back into post-pandemic society with a one-night-only concert, The Melody Lingers On: A Gala Tribute to the Songs of Irving Berlin. We’ll be “at home” at the Rose Theater, Jazz at Lincoln Center (Broadway at 60th Street) at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, October 27th, and KT Sullivan will host the festivities. An amazing amalgamation of artists have come together for the event, including Karen Akers, Christine Andreas, Klea Blackhurst, Stephanie Blythe, Carole J. Bufford, Natalie Douglas, Eric Yves Garcia, Aisha de Haas, Jeff Harnar, Nicolas King, 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. As an additional highlight, Ms. Akers will accept The 2021 Mabel Award.
Tickets are once again priced at $25, $50, and $100. Our premium seating at $500 is limited to fifty patrons and includes a post-performance cocktail reception with the evening’s artists. ($350 of that price is tax-deductible.) Checks may be made payable to The Mabel Mercer Foundation, 630 Ninth Ave, Suite 402, New York, NY 10036. They may also be ordered online (); by phone (212) 980-3026; or by fax (212) 980-3049.
Of course, Cabaret Convention attendees are accustomed to more than a single evening of song. So, given the success of our virtual presentations across the past eight months, we’ll launch the 2021 programming with two evenings of streamed performances that will be seen – free of charge — via mabelmercer.org. At 7 p.m. on Monday, October 25th, “Love Is Sweeping the Country” rejoices in the fact that cabarets are reopening all over the world, and our guests will confirm that in performances from across the United States, as well as from England and Australia. KT Sullivan again serves as compere to present Corinna Sowers Adler, Stefan Bednarczyk, Cynthia Clarey, Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, David Edelfelt, Shana Farr, Meg Flather, Eric Michael Gillett, Noelle Goforth, Sean Harkness, Paula Dionne Ingram, Lina Koutrakos, David LaMarr, Michael Kirk Lane, Alexandra Lewis, Marilyn Maye, Sally Mayes, Tammy McCann, Marissa Mulder, Phillip Officer, Marcus Simeone, Gabrielle Stravelli, Heather Sullivan, Jill and Rich Switzer, and Lennie Watts. This outstanding roster comes to you from such familiar and favorite venues as Brandy’s, Don’t Tell Mama, The West Bank Cafe (NYC), Davenport’s and Winter’s Jazz Club (Chicago), The Pheasantry (London), Crooners (Minneapolis), The Oakside Mansion (Bloomfield, New Jersey), The Pelican Cafe (Lake Park, Florida), and Table 26 (Palm Beach), and new venues such as Jazz TX in San Antonio and The Nevada Room in Las Vegas. The evening also features the presentations of The 2021 Julie Wilson Award and The 2021 Donald F. Smith Award.
On Tuesday, October 26th at 7 p.m., the incomparable Natalie Douglas hosts The Future of Cabaret — also virtually streamed at mabelmercer.org. The show honors the winners of this year’s Adela & Larry Elow High School Teen American Songbook Competition – Mark Aguirre, Madalynn Heeren, Julia Parasram, Mairéd O’Neil, and includes appearances by other rising young performers including Joie Bianco, Hannah Jane and Anais Reno. A special feature of the program will offer Ms. Douglas in a portion of one of her cabaret masterclasses. [Please note: All artists listed are subject to their availability.]
As noted, links for the streamed shows on Monday and Tuesday will be offered free-of-charge at mabelmercer.org. (These two performances will then remain available for two weeks.) No registration is required, but donations are ever 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. As many of you know, the greater percentage of our annual operating budget has always depended upon Convention income, so we hope you will generously extend yourselves to help maintain and sustain our efforts. Donations may be made via mabelmercer.org (which gratefully accepts funds 24/7/365) or by check payable to The Mabel Mercer Foundation.
Last year at this time, we were singing Irving Berlin’s hopeful “It’s a Lovely Day Tomorrow” from LOUISIANA PURCHASE. This year, instead, we’re able to dip into his score for CALL ME MADAM and proclaim, “It’s a Lovely Day Today!” Please join us — virtually on October 25th and 26th and “in person” at Rose Theater on October 27th — for The 32nd New York Cabaret Convention!
We hope, in Mr. Berlin’s words, “You Keep Coming Back Like a Song.”
The Board and Staff of The Mabel Mercer Foundation