Starry lineup coming to downtown Cabaret

February 4, 2011
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Word is out on the lineup for the rest of the 2011 Cabaret at the Columbia Club series and, well, its a knock-out.

Already announced shows included Andrea Marcovicci, one of the top names in cabaret circles, performing a music-from-the-movies weekend Feb. 25-26. And the return of Jil Agrot, who supplied the vocals for La Vie En Rose, on March 22.

New names include Melissa Manchester, the pop singer/songwriter who, many don't realize, also showed her skills as a theatrical composer with the musical "I Sent a Letter to My Love" (Perhaps some enterprising theater company will arrange a reading of that show around the same weekend--hint, hint). She'll be here on April 2.

Billy Stritch, who visited town playing piano for Liza Minnelli a few weeks back, will take the stage himself in a tribute to Mel Torme May 13-14. Darrian Ford, from Broadway's "Smokey Joe's Cafe," performs a Sam Cooke tribute on July 8-9. And the great Liz Callaway returns with a concert of Broadway tunes Aug. 26-27.

The insanely promising season continues with Tony DeSare--who you may have seen swing with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra--taking over for a weekend Sept. 16-17.

A major coup is the booking of songwriter/composer Jason Robert Brown Oct. 14-15. He's the talent behind such shows as "The Last Five Years," "Parade," and "Songs for a New World." He's also a terrific singer, as witnessed by his "Someone Else's Clothes" CD. I'll be leading Q&As with Brown after each performance, so count on sticking around for some insight from one of the best in the business (him, not me).

Stephanie Block, the lead in "The Pirate Queen," "The Boy from Oz," and "9 to 5: The Musical," headlines the Cabaret fundraiser on Oct. 28. Karen Akers performs an evening of Cole Porter on Nov. 11, and comic singer/impressionist Christine Pedi brings the laughs on Dec. 15.

And that's just the national acts.

Locals in the on-deck circle include Jimmy Guilford and friends in a Doo Wop show March 11-12, Cynthia Lane and the Indy Jazz Fest Band on April 22, an all-female jazz show led by Monika Herzig on June 2, Brenda Williams in concert on June 17, Stacie Sandoval and Elizabeth Souza celebrating Latin music on July 29, Deb Mullins singing the  blues Aug. 12-13, and an all-women blues fest on Sept. 30.

My biggest problem right now is how to fit other Indy arts groups onto my calendar.

  • Melissa Manchester Is Just THE Best
    Melissa Manchester is one talented, sexy woman. Incredible songwriter. Incredible singer. Incredible soul.

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  1. The east side does have potential...and I have always thought Washington Scare should become an outlet mall. Anyone remember how popular Eastgate was? Well, Indy has no outlet malls, we have to go to Edinburgh for the deep discounts and I don't understand why. Jim is right. We need a few good eastsiders interested in actually making some noise and trying to change the commerce, culture and stereotypes of the East side. Irvington is very progressive and making great strides, why can't the far east side ride on their coat tails to make some changes?

  2. has an article from 2010 where they talk about how Interactions moved to Massachusetts in the year prior. The article includes a link back to that Inside Indiana Business press release I linked to earlier, snarkily noting, "Guess this 2006 plan to create 200-plus new jobs in Indiana didn't exactly work out."

  3. I live on the east side and I have read all your comments. a local paper just did an article on Washington square mall with just as many comments and concerns. I am not sure if they are still around, but there was an east side coalition with good intentions to do good things on the east side. And there is a facebook post that called my eastside indy with many old members of the eastside who voice concerns about the east side of the city. We need to come together and not just complain and moan, but come up with actual concrete solutions, because what Dal said is very very true- the eastside could be a goldmine in the right hands. But if anyone is going damn, and change things, it is us eastside residents

  4. Please go back re-read your economics text book and the fine print on the February 2014 CBO report. A minimum wage increase has never resulted in a net job loss...

  5. The GOP at the Statehouse is more interested in PR to keep their majority, than using it to get anything good actually done. The State continues its downward spiral.