Upright’s Catalina Cabaret

August 1, 2008
8:00 pm

upright-poster-version-two-with-full-cast-5w-85-dpi-8pm.jpgOn July 31st and August 1st (Thursday and Friday) at 8pm, L.A.’s famed Upright Cabaret makes their island debut at the Catalina Country Club (1 Country Club Drive) in the cozy seaside town of Avalon, California.This wildly popular evening of cuisine, style, and song has been the talk of Los Angeles for over 3 years and now, for TWO NIGHTS ONLY; the producers will bring this hip and contemporary social swirl of Broadway and Hollywood’s brightest stars to Avalon to perform under the stars! Upright is more than an inventive cabaret show. With the help of The Catalina Island Company and Catalina Country Club’s Patricia Vlcan, this will be an exquisite evening as well. The Catalina Country Club is planning a special menu just for this occasion, serving up California cuisine at its finest. Discover or rediscover one of California’s best-kept secrets as the history and charm of Santa Catalina Island provide a spectacular backdrop for Upright’s brand of “new generation” cabaret by making something old new again. 


Broadway star and recording artist BILLY PORTER will headline this cast of Upright favorites.  President Bill Clinton once said…”if I could sing like Billy Porter, I would pursue a new line of work.” Mr. Porter has appeared on Broadway in Miss Saigon, Five Guys Named Moe, Grease, Smokey Joe’s Café, Dreamgirls and Hair, and his one-man show, Ghetto Superstar: The Man That I Am debuted at the Public Theater and was nominated for both a 2005 Drama League Award and a GLAAD Media Award. In the fall of 2007 he conceived and directed Being Alive, a revue of Sondheim’s music performed by an all African American cast. 


Mr. Porter will be joined by a star-studded cast including…


JAKE SIMPSON who won twice (2003 and 2004) the top honors in the Adult Singer category on CBS-TV’s “Star Search” with his powerful high tenor voice and three-octave range. Growing up in Crocker, Missouri, making music has been one of the most important driving forces in Jake’s life. One of the highlights of Jake’s life was when he was invited to perform on”The Oprah Winfrey Show.” The show, which first aired on June 8, 2004, was one of Oprah’s favorites, as she surprised Jake by bringing out his idol, the legendary Stevie Wonder, to duet with Jake on Wonder’s “Isn’t She Lovely.” The surprise thrilled Oprah so much that she included it on her 20th anniversary DVD box-set. 


Tony Nominee VALARIE PETTIFORD began her training as a child at the Bernice Johnson Theater of the Performing Arts in Queens, New York and continued her early training at the Performing Arts High School. Her tremendous versatility in all styles of dance soon led her to Broadway where she became a “Fosse dancer”, working with the late great, legendary choreographer, Bob Fosse in “Dancin” and in his last Broadway musical, “Big Deal”. Since her humble beginnings as a dancer on Broadway, Mrs. Pettiford has shimmied her way from notable television shows including four seasons of UPN’s hit Half & Half, numerous film roles including Aunt Jackie in the #1 film in the country 1/16/07 STOMP THE YARD, her role as Mariah Carey’s mother, Lily Frank, in Paramount’s, GLITTER for which she received glowing reviews from both the Los Angeles Times and The New York Times, and has stepped back to Broadway many times over the years! Her last performance on Broadway earned her a Tony Award Nomination for her work in “Fosse”.


AUDRA MAE, a dynamo soulful singer who inherited the “pipes” of the world’s most famous chanteuse, Judy Garland (she is her great-grandniece). You might say that she’s direct from Oklahoma (where she was raised) by way of Broadway! Listening to Audra Mae might just convince you that the souls of Judy Garland, Patsy Cline and Janis Joplin have alighted in one exciting performer – Audra Mae is the real thing, the most exciting new voice the cabaret world has seen since the debut of K.D. Lang and Norah Jones. While she wields a unique and amazing voice, Audra Mae is also one of LA’s hippest songwriters.  On piano, guitar or simply at the mic, her brilliantly crafted lyrics and memorable melodies are slightly cynical, all original. Telling her rich story, Audra Mae’s songs defy classification with influences by Hank Williams, Randy Newman, Joni Mitchell, and even Cyndi Lauper. Come see Audra Mae while she stands on the cusp of stardom — soon after arriving in Los Angeles from her native Oklahoma, the singer-songwriter signed a development deal with Warner Chappell.


Upright Cabaret: Escape to Catalina at Catalina Country Club
1 Country Club Drive, Avalon, CA, 90704
Dinner/”10 Cane Rum” Drink Specials begin at 6 PM / SHOWTIME 8 PM
Tickets: $25 Fountain Patio and $30 SRO. Dinner required for all Fountain Patio Seating
Tickets available online or at venue: Upright’s Catalina Cabaret Tickets (click here)
Reservations Recommended: ext. 17