When McCarter Theater quickly sold out its 7:30 p.m. shows to its perenially popular cabaret series earlier this fall, Bill Lockwood, McCarter’s special programming director worked with the artists so that each is now offering an additional performance, Saturday, December 15, Friday, March 21, and Saturday ,June 14, at 10 p.m. in McCarter’s Berlind Theater.
The 2007-’08 cabaret series will present three acclaimed musical theater performers: Faith Prince, James Naughton, and Klea Blackhurst. “It’s the year to celebrate Broadway. The stars have truly aligned this season — right over the Berlind Theater,” says Lockwood.
On Saturday, December 15, Faith Prince kicks off the series with her cabaret show, “Leap of Faith,” which Variety calls “a slice of musical comedy heaven;” James Naughton performs “Looking for the Heart of Saturday Night” on Friday, March 21; and Klea Blackhurst closes the season on Saturday, June 14, with “Everything the Traffic Will Allow: The Songs and Sass of Ethel Merman.”
Faith Prince earned a Tony Award for her portrayal of Miss Adelaide in the 1992 Broadway revival of “Guys and Dolls,” as well as two Tony nominations — for the revival of “Bells Are Ringing” and “Jerome Robbins’ Broadway.” She has appeared in the original Broadway cast of “Noises Off” and the original off-Broadway cast of William Finn’s “Falsettoland.” She toured last season with Tom Wopat in “Over the Rainbow,” a concert celebrating the centennial of composer Harold Arlen. Prince will soon be seen on Broadway in the new musical “A Catered Affair,” starring Harvey Fierstein.
From Broadway and regional theater to television and films, leading man James Naughton has won acclaim in dramas, comedies and musicals, including winning two Tony Awards as Best Actor in a Musical for “Chicago” and “City of Angels.” Broadway has seen him in O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night” (for which he won a Drama Critics Award), and he also directed the Paul Newman revival of “Our Town.” On TV he has played the title character’s father on “Ally McBeal,” and his many films include (most recently) “The Devil Wears Prada,” in which he appears as Meryl Streep’s husband, Stephen.
Klea Blackhurst’s loving tribute to the songs made famous by the legendary Ethel Merman has become a fixture of the New York cabaret scene since 2001 and highlights what is arguably the greatest body of show music ever written for a single performer. With songs from “Girl Crazy,” “Anything Goes,” “Gypsy,” and “Annie Get Your Gun,” “Everything the Traffic Will Allow” serves as a potent and happy reminder of Merman’s importance to the unbridled jubilation of show business. Blackhurst herself has been hailed by the New York Observer as “a jolly broth of a lady with a voice the size of a TWA terminal.”
According to a press statement, McCarter’s cabaret series “is a unique opportunity for versatile artists to combine music, dance, and comedy into one intimate performance.” Since its inception in 2004, the series has welcomed some of musical theater’s most talented performers to McCarter’s stage, including Marin Mazzie, Jason Danieley, Ann Hampton Calloway, Christine Andreas, and Tom Wopat.
Cabaret Series, McCarter Theater, 91 University Place. Single tickets are $45. 609-258-2787 or visit www.mccarter.org.