A Tony nominee, a former Elphaba in Broadway's "Wicked" and a one-time Mouseketeer are among the acts booked for the 11th Orlando Cabaret Festival.
Mad Cow Theatre presents the annual mix of music and comedy, which will run April 25-May 12 at the company's complex at 54 W. Church St., Orlando.
Emily Skinner, a Tony nominee for the musical "Side Show," will perform her original "Broadway Her Way" show three times during the festival. Skinner also starred in "Billy Elliot" on Broadway and on tour. She can be heard on countless cast albums and CDs highlighting the songs of Stephen Sondheim, the Sherman Brothers and Stephen Schwartz.
"I promise to bring as much sass, fun and diverse theater stories as Florida can possibly stomach," Skinner said in the festival announcement. "I hope the show will amuse, intrigue and remind people of the potency of musical theater."
Another Broadway star participating is Shoshana Bean, best known for starring as Elphaba, the green-faced witch in "Wicked." Bean, who also appeared in Broadway's "Hairspray," is a frequent concert performer who has shared the stage with Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston. Her latest album, "O'Farrell Street," pays homage to vintage soul music of the 1960s.
The ex-Mouseketeer is Lindsey Alley, who will perform "Blood, Sweat and Mouseketears" at the cabaret festival. Yes, the misspelling is deliberate, to work in the word "tears." Alley was cast in 1989 on the Disney Channel's "All New Mickey Mouse Club," performing with Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. She was in all seven seasons of the show and promises to share plenty of stories — the good and presumably the bad — along with her music.
"This former Mouseketeer is super excited to be returning to the motherland," Alley said. "It'll be an evening of belly laughs, tawdry tales and great music, including a few of your Disney favorites."
Also on the bill:
• Tony DeSare, who performed at the 2011 festival. The singer, pianist and songwriter brings a jazzy touch to classic standards and original compositions.
• Michael Walters, known for his comic impressions, will perform his semi-autobiographical show "Showtunes Made Me Gay."
• Baritone Lee Lessack will pay tribute to Johnny Mercer, weaving stories of the singer-songwriter with hits such as "Moon River," "Black Magic" and "Come Rain or Come Shine."
• Melanie Kinard and Ellie Dvorkin mix topical humor with often-naughty songs in their show, "Mel & El." Their comic act takes a look at how they've have stayed friends since age 12.
• "It Was a Very Good Year," a series spotlighting the Great American Songbook, will return, though the years to be highlighted have not been chosen.
"Mad Cow's Orlando Cabaret Festival is going to shine even brighter this year thanks to the incredible star talent we have lined up," said Mitzi Maxwell, the theater's executive director. "We are very excited to bring the festival to our new home on Church Street in the heart of downtown Orlando."
Single tickets go on sale Tuesday and range from $20-$55. Packages also are available. For more information, including the complete schedule, go to orlandocabaret.com or call 407-297-8788.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun