Saturday, July 18, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
2015 St. Louis Cabaret Festival

Today, let's take a look at some video clips featuring the stars of next week's St. Louis Cabaret Festival. Produced by Cabaret Project of St. Louis, the festival serves as the performance portion of their annual St. Louis Cabaret Conference, a week-long event offering educational programs, professional development, networking, and other activities for aspiring and established cabaret performers.

Three of the best-known singers involved in the conference will headline public performances at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concerts begin with Marilyn Maye, who's still remarkably spry and vocally sharp at age 87 and considered by many to be the matriarch of contemporary cabaret. She was a main attraction at last year's conference and will return this year to perform a program of songs associated with Frank Sinatra on Wednesday, July 22 at the Sheldon.

In the first video up above, you can see Maye singing "Here's to Us" at the 2014 Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs (MAC) Awards, where she was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award.

After the jump, there's a clip of Maye performing "The Man That Got Away," recorded in March 2014 at The Allen Room by Jazz at Lincoln Center, with assistance from her musical director, pianist Billy Stritch, along with bassist David Katzenberg and drummer Daniel Glass.

Next up is singer and pianist Jason Robert Brown, who will perform on Thursday, July 23 at the Sheldon. Known more as a composer and songwriter than a performer, Brown has won two Tony Awards for writing the scores for Parade and The Bridges of Madison County.

But though he may spend most of his time behind the scenes, Brown also is quite capable of capturing an audience's attention on stage, as you can see in the third video, which features him performing "When You Say Vegas" from the short-lived Broadway musical Honeymoon in Vegas. Brown is backed by Charlie Rosen's Broadway Big Band in the clip, which was recorded last October at 54 Below.

In the fourth video, you can see Brown talking for a couple of minutes about the process of making changes in a new show during previews, and then performing a solo piano/vocal version of "Being A Geek," which was written for, and then cut from, the musical 13.

The festival's final headliner is Christine Ebersole, who will perform on Friday, July 24 at the Sheldon. Ebersole is a two-time Tony Award-winning actress and singer who has had many roles in TV and film and has starred in Broadway shows such as 42nd Street, Grey Gardens, Dinner at Eight, and Blithe Spirit.

Ebersole also is a veteran concert and cabaret performer, and the fifth video embed shows her singing "Something There" from her album Strings Attached in a show last year at the NYC venue 54 Below. In today's final clip, she can be seen performing "After All," from the musical Ever After, in May of this year on an episode of Sirius/XM radio's theater-talk show Seth Speaks.

In addition to the concerts by the three headliners, the festival also will include a showcase performance by conference participants on Saturday, July 25 at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

For more about the St. Louis Cabaret Festival and the Cabaret Conference, you can listen to an interview with Marilyn Maye and Tim Schall, producer and co-founder of the conference, from yesterday's “Cityscape” program on KWMU/St. Louis Public Radio.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

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