Arden Cabaret Series Presents Michael Ogborn’s Night at the Blue Parrot
(Philadelphia, PA) Arden Theatre Company and Bob and Nancy Elfant, Honorary Producers, present cabaret artist, composer and lyricist Michael Ogborn on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15, 2016, at 8pm. Ogborn takes the stage in the Arden’s 100-seat Studio Theatre at the Hamilton Family Arts Center, 62 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia. The cabaret is one of four being offered as part of the 2016/17 Arden Cabaret Series.
Michael Ogborn is an Emmy and Barrymore Award winner. He made his Off-Broadway debut in 1993 with the critically acclaimed musical revue Box Office of the Damned. He has worked steadily in the professional theater for the past twenty years and his work has been produced in Philadelphia at the Arden Theatre Company (Baby Case [4 Barrymore Awards,] Café Puttanesca and Tulipomania), People’s Light (the Pantos Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon, Cinderella [Four Barrymore Awards,] Aladdin, Treasure Island, The Three Musketeers and Snow White in Follywood), The Wilma Theater, 1812 Productions and 11th Hour Theatre Company (the recent Field Hockey Hot.)
Arden Producing Artistic Director, Terrence J. Nolen, says, “Some audience members may not know that before Michael wrote Arden successes like Baby Case and Café Puttanesca, he was a popular cabaret artist. We happened to both win a 1992 Best of Philly recognition award and I remember going to the party and seeing Michael perform. That was my first introduction to his talent and charisma. We’re thrilled to have him as an artist in our Arden Cabaret Series.”
For three years in the late 80’s and early 90’s, Ogborn worked weekends as a cabaret entertainer at the Blue Parrot cafe at 1302 Drury Street. One of the oldest bars in the heart of Philadelphia, Ogborn says, “The Blue Parrot was one of those little places. The most integrated little dive bar in the world. It attracted gay, straight, old, young, all ethnicities and social segments.”
Says Ogborn, “The Blue Parrot was special. I’ll never forget working there the night the Gulf War started and everyone singing John Lennon’s Imagine together. I had a band of people who sang with me, sometimes Drag Queens would come up and lip synch to my singing. It was so much fun.”
Ogborn’s cabaret will include special guests, audience participation, some impersonations and music that ranges from standards of the American Songbook to the Mamas and the Papas.
He adds, “It has been over 15 years since I’ve performed a night like this. I’m coming out of retirement to recreate this very special place and time.”
Accompanying Ogborn is Andrew Nelson on bass.
Arden Cabaret Series
The Arden Cabaret Series was created to provide an opportunity for artists to perform, develop and present work that is important to them, and offers a unique and intimate conversation between Arden artists and audiences.
Arden Artistic Associate Matthew Decker says, “When we opened the Hamilton Family Arts Center we realized we have the perfect space for cabaret in our 100-seat Studio Theatre. Many of our cabaret performers work regularly at the Arden and at other theatres in the region, and the intimacy of the Studio Theatre gives our audiences, and perhaps new audiences, a chance to see their favorite performers in an up-close and personal way.”
Decker adds, “We realize that the local cabaret scene often features performers from outside of Philly. Philadelphia is home to some of the finest actors in the region, and to be able to showcase those talents is both thrilling for us and deserved for them.”
Next up in the Arden Cabaret Series is Tell Me A Story: A Cabaret of Holiday Stories and Songs (December 9th and 10th), curated by Hillary Rea and featuring favorite Arden artists to share personal stories and songs about the holidays. Mary Martello performs February 17th and 18th.
Tickets and Reservations
Premium tables for $200 are available that seat four patrons each. General admission table seating is also available for $30 per person. All seating is BYOB, and the Arden supplies complementary corking service and cups, upon request.
Theatre meals and light snacks are available for pre-purchase from Wedge and Fig for $15. Boxed meals can be picked up at the box office up to one hour before the show’s start time to be enjoyed before or during the show. Details here.
Arden donors and subscribers receive a $5 ticket discount. For tickets, call the Arden Box Office at 215.922.1122, visit here or walk-up at the box office at 40 N. 2nd Street in Old City, Philadelphia.
About the Arden
Founded in 1988, Arden Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing to life great stories by great storytellers–on the stage, in the classroom, and in the community. Five productions are staged each season as part of the Mainstage series and two productions through Arden Children’s Theatre, the city’s first resident professional children’s theatre program. New work is produced through the Independence Foundation New Play Showcase. The Arden’s Education Department includes: Arden for All (AFA), a theatre access and education program for underserved young people; Arden Drama School, the after-school, Saturday, and summer camp classes for students in grades pre K-12; Teen Arden, an immersive after-school access program for Philadelphia-area based teenagers; and the Arden Professional Apprentice Program, a nationally renowned comprehensive theatre management training program. The Hamilton Family Arts Center is the new facility dedicated to education programs and new play development.
The Arden has received numerous honors including 62 awards and 331 nominations from the Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre. The Arden is a winner of four “Theatre Company of the Year” designations (Philadelphia Inquirer), six Philadelphia Magazine “Best of Philly” awards and three “Best of Philly Kids” awards, the City Paper’s Reader’s Choice Award and the prestigious “Great Friend to Kids Award” from the Please Touch Museum for Arden Children’s Theatre work. For accessibility efforts, the Arden was named a “Keystone of Accessibility” by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Arden Theatre Company is a professional, nonprofit 501(c)(3) theatre company and a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the League of Resident Theatres, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Old City Arts Association. The Arden also participates in The Barrymore Awards, a program of Theatre Philadelphia.