THE 33RD CABARET CONVENTION AT ROSE THEATRE
PRESENTED BY THE MABEL MERCER FOUNDATION
By: Maryann Lopinto
November 4, 2022: The 33rd Cabaret Convention is back live in full after two years of the Pandemic at Lincoln Centers Rose Theatre. Not to miss a beat in 2020 the 31st Convention was virtual, and filmed at various venures three nights free and the fourth, streamed. 1: CABARET: YESTERDAY AND TODAY (most have appeared in early conventions), 2: FUTURE OF CABARET (Youngsters from various schools), 3: WORLD OF CABARET (international performers and from all over the United States) and the last which was streamed, was 4: CABARET CLASSICS performing at Birdland (without an audience) of our familiar performers.
In 2021, Cabaret Convention the first two nights was virtual, 1: LOVE IS SWEEPING THE COUNTRY – (cabaret venues all over the country that were opening again) 2: THE FUTURE OF CABARET hosted by Natalie Douglas and the third night which was live at the Rose Theatre, THE MEMORY LINGERS ON: A GALA TRIBUNE TO IRVING BERLIN with all the cabaret favorites.
The Cabaret Convention was created by Donald Smith and presented by The Mabel Mercer Foundation in 1989 and presented for seven days at the Town Hall. All shows started at 6pm and still do. Eventually the Convention moved to The Rose Theatre at Lincoln Center. In 2012 when Donald Smith passed away, the duty of Artistic Director was passed on to KT Sullivan, Donald Smith’s wishes.
After the absence of two years, the 33rd Convention has been restored to three live nights. Wednesday, October 26th, Thursday, October 27th and Friday October 28th, 2022.
Wednesday, October 26th’s show was LOOK TO THE RAINBOW! THE SONGS OF YIP HARBURG who wrote the songs of WIZARD OF OZ and FINIAN’S RAINBOW among others and was originally to be hosted by both Andrea Marcovicci and Jeff Harnar, but unfortunately tested positive for Covid in the morning, so Andrea hosted by herself. Jeff was the recipient of this years “Mabel Mercer Award” so it was presented to him in absentia. Classics such as “Over the Rainbow”, “It’s Only A Paper Moon”, “Old Devil Moon” and “Last Night When We Were Young” were among the gems performed.
Thursday, October 27th they celebrated Nat King Cole in a show called UNFORGETTABLE, A TRIBUTE TO NAT KING COLE”. Natalie Douglas hosted this show. The “Donald Smith Award” was presented to a very surprised Eric Yves Garcia after his performance on piano and vocal of “Penthouse Serenade”. Many of the songs made famous by Nat King Cole that was performed were “Nature Boy”, “Smile”, “Mona Lisa” and “Unforgettable” of course. There were so many other classics he was known for.
The final show was on Friday, October 27th THROUGH THE YEARS: CELEBRATING TIMELESS AMERICAN STANDARDS with many of our talented and classic cabaret/concert performers to name a few, Sandy Stewart, Karen Mason, Mark Nadler, Sidney Meyer etc. performing the great American Song Book. This show was hosted by KT Sullivan who not only sings now, she accompanies herself on piano a skill she acquired during the pandemic. The “Julie Wilson Award” was presented to MOIPEI a trio of young triplets, Mary, Maggie and Marta Moipei from Nairobi, Kenya. They are the answer to the McGuire Sisters and they made their debut at last years Cabaret Convention.