The 26th New York Cabaret Convention organized by The Mabel Center Foundation Salutes Composer Marvin Hamlisch during the last day of their 4‑DAY prestigious event! THANK YOU!
New York, NY - Marvin Hamlisch (1944–2012), a talent whose work you’d have had to be living under a rock not to have known, was a composer/conductor and winner of the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony, and Pulitzer Prize (PEGOT.) At the age of 21, his “Sunshine, Lollipops, and Rainbows” hit the charts with a bullet (sung by Lesley Gore). Years later “The Way We Were” was recorded by seemingly everyone in the world (Originally sung by Barbra Streisand.) Among his musicals, “The Goodbye Girl ” , “The Sweet Smell of Success,” “They’re Playing Our Song” and his iconic “A Chorus Line” which is musical theater history.
The Mabel Mercer Foundation’s 26th NYC Annual Cabaret Convention was on its feet due to the efforts of Artistic Director KT Sullivan, Managing Director, Rick Meadows, Co-Directors Alyce Finell, Bill Lanese, Jason Martin, and its Board of Trustees, as well as everyone from Town Hall connected to the production.
Thank you to the performers: Klea Blackhurst (she hosted and was incredible), Carol Woods, Raissa Katona Bennett, Eva Kantor, Liam Forde, Heather Mac Rae, Eric Michael Gillett, Marieann Meringolo. Valerie Lemon, Michael Rice, Kenneth Gartman, Alvin Hough, Jr. , Phil Hall, Scott Coulter, John Boswell, Jon Weber, Steve Doyle. Thanks to ALL!
” A mother’s voice” with Eva Kantor and ” That’s How I Say Goodbye”
From Sweet Smell of Success sent tingling sensations down my spine. Marvin would be sooo proud of you all! He is! Raissa your “Ordinary Miracles” was elegant and exquisite! And Klea you made a touchdown with “Nobody Does it Better” and Your Marvin signature from “Nutty Professor” “While I Still Have The Time.” Totally rocked it as the MC last night!! I know Marvin had done what he always did: bring people together. You and Lucie for Hazel! Love you all so much! Thank you all for a wonderful evening!
He is smiling!!!!! And proud!” Love , Terre Blair Hamlisch.
Host Klea Blackhurst performed the Hamlisch / Rupert Holmes number “While I Still Have the Time” from then-in-development The Nutty Professor, in which Blackhurst would have been featured (Michael Rice-piano). She also kept the pace, articulately introducing varied performers and bridging musical sections with amusing, entertaining anecdotes.
The lovely “Ordinary Miracles” (Hamlisch / Alan & Marilyn Bergman) was given its sincere, well-phrased due by Raissa Katona Bennett (Kenneth Gartman- piano) who seemed to palpably believe.
Eric Michael Gillett sang two numbers from Sweet Smell of Success (lyrics-Craig Carnelia), which, we were told this evening, is headed back to Broadway. Gillett was in the original cast. A shimmering “I Cannot Hear the City” showcases the artist’s range and vocal control, while a powerful “At The Fountain” reminds us of his acting chops (Alvin Hough, Jr.-piano).
Mothers Eva Kantor and Valerie Lemon (long Hamlisch’s dear friend and go-to concert singer) performed a simply lovely duet of “Mother’s Voice” (lyric Alan & Marilyn Bergman) A Song that Marvin Hamlisch composed and dedicated to his mom, Lilly, (and tp all the mothers in the audience.) Vocal arrangement buoyed the ladies’ excellent harmony. Lemon then sang “That’s How I Say Goodbye,” which was cut from the original production of the musical but will be restored in the revival. Meaningful to the performer, who undoubtedly had tears in her eyes, the song became all the more meaningful to us (Phil Hall-piano).
Carol Woods first presented “Too Good To Be Bad” (The Goodbye Girl- lyrics by David Zippel) with resonant depth and attitude (Jon Weber-piano, Steve Doyle-bass) and later lead this evening’s moving finale “What I Did For Love” (Chorus Line - lyrics Edward Kleban) backed by the Scott Coulter-directed Broadway By the Year Chorus (from Scott Siegel’s eminent Town Hall Series).
“The Last Time I Felt Like This” as sung by Scott Coulter showed instinct for nuanced, pop inflection (John Boswell-piano) … Heather McRae’s number from Ice Castles skated gracefully on Jon Weber’s tinkling piano … Marieann Meringolo, often compared to Barbra Streisand, sang one of the icon’s hits, “The Way We Were” (lyric-Alan & Marilyn Bergman), with clear, unembellished skill (Jon Weber-piano) … Liam Forde effervesced through an infectious medley from They’re Playing Our Song (lyrics-Carole Bayer Sager).
Thanks to ALL the Guest Artists, and The Organizers! Team Marvin Hamlisch / Terre Blair Hamlisch.
- A Marvin Hamlisch Songbook — Get Music for your next production.
- Upcoming Tributes
- The Library of Congress receives Papers of Composer Marvin Hamlisch. His awards will be on exhibit at the Library of Congress Music room