The first Trust Cabaret season of luminaries from theater productions and concert stages worldwide winds up tomorrow with Karen Akers, one of the original stars of the Tony Award-winning "Grand Hotel" and a 1982 Tony nominee as Luisa in "Nine," both under the direction of Tommy Tune.
As a cabaret entertainer, Ms. Akers was honored with the 2005 NY Nightlife Award for Outstanding Female Cabaret Vocalist in a Major Engagement and the 2009 Legends Award. The vocalist has headlined two solo PBS specials, appeared in films such as Mike Nichols' "Heartburn" and Woody Allen's "The Purple Rose of Cairo," and has performed three times at the White House.
Trust Cabaret at the Cabaret at Theater Square, 655 Penn Ave., Downtown.
7:30 p.m. Monday.
$35-$45, trustarts.org or 412-456-6666.
In a 2006 story for Playbill, Andrew Gans wrote, "It has been in the concert and cabaret worlds where ... Akers has truly made her mark, wrapping her dark, rich, silky contralto -- which throbs with an emotional intensity -- around the songs of Jacques Brel, Edith Piaf, Craig Carnelia and Stephen Sondheim."
Her acts have been developed around those artists and composers who best suit that voice. "As far as the songs that people associate with me go, I would say that Piaf's 'Non, je ne regrette rien' has become my signature song, along with 'The Rose,' and perhaps 'My Husband Makes Movies' from 'Nine,' " she said. "People also seem to enjoy it when I sing anything in French -- or anything of Porter's, for that matter."
That would be Cole Porter.
In December, she opened the Winter Rhythms 2012 festival of music in New York with her show, "Anything Goes: Karen Akers Sings Cole Porter." In Pittsburgh, where the national tour of "Anything Goes" recently graced the Cultural District, Ms. Akers will continue the theme. "It's a celebration of Cole Porter -- his style, his heart, his wit and his musicality," she said.
The Trust series, sponsored by the Benter Foundation and Richard E. Rauh, also attracted Betty Buckley, Christine Andreas, Elaine Paige and Christine Ebersole to the Cabaret at Theater Square. A second season will be announced at the show Monday.