CLASSIC MELODIES FROM THE GROUNDBREAKING STAGE AND FILM COMPOSER WILL BE CELEBRATED BY THE MABEL MERCER FOUNDATION AND ITS VOCALISTS IN A ONE-NIGHT-ONLY CABARET CONCERT
“All the Things You Are” The Music of Jerome Kern, an extraordinary, one-time-only concert event to be produced by The Mabel Mercer Foundation on Tuesday, May 21st at 7:30 p.m. The presentation will be given at Weill Recital Hall (part of the Carnegie Hall complex) at 154 West 57th Street, and more than twenty preeminent cabaret vocalists are scheduled to celebrate the man whose compositions “turned American popular song into an art form – first on Broadway and then in the movies.”
The Mercer Foundation’s artistic director KT Sullivan will host the concert, which features both established and new-to-cabaret entertainers in their interpretations of the legendary Kern songbook. On the bill: Danny Bacher, Raissa Katona Bennett, Leanne Borghesi, Alexis Cole, Tim Connell, Natalie Douglas, Eve Eaton, Eugene Ebner, Rachel Hanser, Christina Jimenez, Renee Katz, David LaMarr, Minda Larsen, Alex Leonard, Karen Mack, Stearns Matthews, Jeff Macauley, Anais Reno, Wendy Russell, Roger Schmelzer, Lauren Stanford, and Joanne Tatham. Jon Weber will serve as musical director, with Steve Doyle on bass and David Silliman on percussion.
Tickets for “All the Things You Are” @ $75.00 (mid-and-rear orchestra) or $30.00 (balcony) may be purchased online at carnegiehall.org; at the Carnegie Hall box office, Seventh Avenue at 57th Street, between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday; between 12 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sunday; or by calling CarnegieCharge at 212 247-7800 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. daily. A Patron Package for the performance is also available directly and exclusively from The Mabel Mercer Foundation @ $150.00. That price includes seating in the first seven rows of the orchestra, as well as an after-party with the performers at a nearby private residence. Please call 212 980-3026 for availability.
Ms. Sullivan offers, “Since 2014, a celebratory spring concert in New York City has become one of The Mabel Mercer Foundation’s annual presentations. We’ve commemorated the repertoire of singer Margaret Whiting and of such songwriters as James Van Heusen, Cole Porter, Howard Dietz, Arthur Schwartz, and Ervin Drake.
“These programs continue to showcase performers who are established favorites and serve as well to incorporate new, young entertainers into our presentations. It’s both a means of introducing them to this repertoire and to the audiences who unfailingly enjoy it, thus fulfilling one of the most important aspects of our Foundation charter.”
In selecting Jerome Kern as their 2019 honoree, The Mabel Mercer Foundation pays homage to the composer who – with his diverse lyricists and librettists — preeminently shaped the American musical comedies, plays, and (eventually) motion pictures of the first half of the twentieth century. Kern was born in New York City on January 27, 1885, and musically trained there as well as in Heidelberg, Germany. By 1905, he was contributing tunes to Broadway productions, writing his first full score in 1912. The melodist hit his stride with “They Didn’t Believe Me” (1914); thereafter, his songs were heard in more than one hundred stage and film musicals. Among Kern’s unforgettable Broadway, London, or Hollywood masterworks: “Look for the Silver Lining,” “Who,” Show Boat (“Ol’ Man River,” “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man,” “My Bill,” “Make Believe,” “Why Do I Love You?”), Sweet Adeline (“Why Was I Born?,” “Don’t Ever Leave Me”), Music in the Air (“The Song is You,” “I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star”), Roberta (“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “Yesterdays,” “I Won’t Dance”), and Very Warm for May (“All the Things You Are”).
In Hollywood, Kern specifically crafted songs for Swing Time (“A Fine Romance”), You Were Never Lovelier (“I’m Old Fashioned”), and Cover Girl (“Long Ago [And Far Away]”). He twice won the Academy Award “Best Song” Oscar, for Swing Time’s “The Way You Look Tonight” (lyric by Dorothy Fields) and Lady Be Good’s “The Last Time I Saw Paris” (lyric by Oscar Hammerstein II). Among Kern’s other collaborators: Johnny Mercer, Ira Gershwin, E. Y. Harburg, Otto Harbach, P. G. Wodehouse, and Guy Bolton.
In all, it’s estimated that Jerome Kern composed more than seven hundred songs. He was sixty years old when he died in New York City on November 11, 1945, and a semi-fictional adaptation of his life story was released a year later in MGM’s highly successful movie musical, Till the Clouds Roll By. Kern was one of the initial inductees to the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and, fifteen years later, became one of the first “popular” composers to appear on a USPS postage stamp.
For further information about “All the Things You Are”/The Music of Jerome Kern, please call The Mabel Mercer Foundation: 212 980-3026 — or visit www.mabelmercer.org f