In their movies together, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney were always temporarily thwarted in their determination to “put on a show in the barn.” (Or on the radio, at the college, or in the abandoned theater.) However — neither hurricane, emergency illness, governmental shutdown, nor a condemned building could stop them.

Now, in that same tradition, not even an international pandemic has been able to waylay The Mabel Mercer Foundation. There’s no barn to be seen, but — evoking the spirit of Judy and Mickey in a manner that would have delighted founder Donald F. Smith — The Mabel Mercer Foundation will happily “put on the show[s]” and present its 31st Annual New York Cabaret Convention — Virtual Edition! from Monday, October 19 through Thursday, October 22. Foundation artistic director KT Sullivan emcees.

Each of the four productions offers a different roster of entertainers and celebrates a specific aspect of cabaret performance or history. The first three nights, October 19-21, will stream FREE OF CHARGE from mabelmercer.org (although donations are politely requested). Showtimes will be announced at the registration site.  The fourth concert, on October 22 from Birdland, will be streamed at 7 p.m. by BroadwayWorld.com, and an advance ticket purchase ($20.00, plus $3.50 handling) is required.  Please see specific and essential information below as to performance times and availability of all four shows.

The artists listed here are subject to change, and their appearances depend upon our receipt of their prerecorded, filmed songs. ALL of these performances are being specially produced for the Convention.

Monday, October 19:  OPENING NIGHT! NEW YORK CABARET: YESTERDAY AND TODAY. Performers include Stephanie Blythe, Ann Hampton Callaway, Natalie Douglas, Shana Farr, Eric Yves Garcia, David LaMarr, Marissa Mulder, Sidney Myer, Mark Nadler, Karen Oberlin, Daryl Sherman, Larry Woodard, and Amra-Faye Wright.  Ms. Blythe will receive the Mabel Mercer Foundation’s 2020 Mabel Award, to be presented by Sandy Stewart. The evening also includes reminiscences from past Convention participants, most of whom appeared in the very first of these in 1989: Karen Akers, Klea Blackhurst, Jeff Harnar, Andrea Marcovicci, Karen Mason, Lee Roy Reams, Rex Reed, and Steve Ross.

Tuesday, October 20:  THE FUTURE OF CABARET.  Foundation board members, Adela and Larry Elow, have created an Endowment Fund specifically to encourage teenagers to learn and perform The Great American Songbook, as composed between the years 1900-1970. Participants are nominated from pupils who attend New York City public performing arts high schools. Tuesday’s Convention roster includes this year’s winner of the Adela and Larry Elow Songbook Competition, Savannah Lee Henry, as well as finalists Leonay Shepherd, Jennifer Poroye, Julia Parasram, and Kylie McNeill. (Ms. Henry, Ms. Shepherd, and Ms. McNeill came to us from The Professional Performing Arts School; Ms. Poroye the Fiorella H. LaGuardia High School; and Ms. Parasram the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts High School.) They will be joined by Anais Reno (2019 competition winner), Thomas Hogan (2019 finalist), Christina Jimenez (2018 competition winner), and Hannah Jane (former competition finalist and recipient of the 2019 Julie Wilson Award, presented by Linda and Peter Hanson and The Mabel Mercer Foundation).

Wednesday, October 21:  A WORLD OF CABARET celebrates international performances from across the United States (Boca Raton, Chicago, Miami, Minneapolis, Ojai, Palm Beach, Palm Springs, St. Louis, San Francisco, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island) and around the world: Amsterdam, the Cayman Islands, London, and Sydney! Performers include Joie Bianco, Leanne Borghesi, Tim Draxl, Josie Foster, Jaedyn Hanna, Hans Pieter Herman, Christian Holder, Nicolas King, Marilyn Maye, Amanda McBroom, Tammy McCann, Colindra-Rodericka McGarvey-Sterling, Maureen McGovern, Beckie Menzie & Tom Michael, Jennifer Sheehan, Deborah Silver, Avery Sommers, and Iris Williams.

Thursday, October 22:  CABARET CLASSICS: PERFORMING FROM BIRDLAND. Performances by Karen Akers, Christine Andreas, Eric Comstock, Natalie Douglas, Barbara Fasano, Jeff Harnar, Karen Mason, Steve Ross, Billy Stritch, and KT Sullivan. Mr. Ross is the recipient of the 2020 Donald F. Smith Award, presented by Adela & Larry Elow and The Mabel Mercer Foundation.

In a statement made this week, KT Sullivan confirms that, “It was just a month ago that the Foundation determined that – pandemic or not – we’d find a safe and wonderful means of making possible the 31st annual Convention. You can tell by the list of performers how much enthusiastic cooperation we’ve received. We also have to acknowledge the club owners, world-wide, who vitally believe in cabaret and want to bring it back to life. These will be acknowledged on show nights, but here in NYC, we’ve already filmed at Birdland, Don’t Tell Mama, The Duplex, Iridium, Pangea, and West Bank Café. Thanks to our chairman of the board, Charles Bullock, and his wife, Susanne, we were even able to record ‘on location’ in our offices, given their overwhelming gift of a beautiful baby grand piano last year.”

To participate in and enjoy the 31st Annual New York Cabaret Convention, please note these points:

1) Streaming links for the October 19-21 concerts will be provided after registration at mabelmercer.org.  Each of these three performances will stream for twenty-four hours from initial airtime; specific evening show times on each date are To Be Determined and will be provided to all registrants at least one week prior to the launch of the Convention. Suggested donation can be made online during the registration process or be mailed payable to The Mabel Mercer Foundation, 630 Ninth Ave, Suite 402 New York, NY 10036.

2) For the Birdland show on October 22, the streaming link will be offered upon ticket purchase at BroadwayWorld.com . This concert streams only ONCE, live, at 7 p.m. (EST) on that date.


REGISTER FREE for OCT. 19, 20, 21