Segerstrom Center for the Arts began hosting intimate cabaret-style shows more than 20 years ago in the black box venue now known as the Judy Morr Theater.
Among the many performers to play in that venue was jazz legend Dave Brubeck, who delighted fans with a handful of sold-out shows there.
Once the new Segerstrom Concert Hall and the adjacent Samueli Theatre opened in 2006, the cabaret capacity expanded to 320 with tables of four allowing for a true cabaret experience.
The performers that have graced the Center’s cabaret series inside Samueli Theatre include top names in the Broadway and pops world.
So it’s no surprise that the 2023-2024 Cabaret Series recently announced by Segerstrom Center is full of talented performers and a tune-packed revue that skewers Broadway’s greatest musicals.
According to information from Segerstrom Center, the series will begin with the cabaret debut of Broadway star Matt Doyle followed by “Forbidden Broadway,” a hysterical revue that will re-enact iconic Broadway shows in a hilarious satire.
Then comes the charming performance of Megan Hilty, known for her roles in “Wicked” and “Smash.” Broadway stars will start the New Year with a salute to Olivia Newton-John, followed by Jeremy Jordan performing his new show of songs that led to his success. The Cabaret Series concludes with the “amazing” Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Series with Lillias White.
2023 – 2024 CABARET SERIES LINEUP
Matt Doyle | October 19 -21, 2023
Matt Doyle comes to the Cabaret Series directly from winning the Tony Award for his performance in Stephen Sondheim’s “Company,” a performance which also garnered him the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards. Doyle made his Broadway debut in “Spring Awakening” in 2007, followed by the Broadway hits “Bye Bye Birdie,” “War Horse,” and “The Book of Mormon” (playing Elder Price).
Forbidden Broadway | November 16-18, 2023
From “Frozen” to “Phantom of the Opera” to “Wicked,” this all-new fall-down funny, satirical roast of over 30 Broadway hits features outrageous costumes, silly spoofs of the songs you know by heart and madcap impressions by a stellar cast! Newer spoofs include “Hamilton,” “Dear Evan Hanson,” and “Moulin Rouge.” A New York sensation for 35 years, a talented quintet of comic chameleons throw out pointed parodies at a dizzying pace. Whether you are a seasoned theatergoer or new to it all, the Tony Award winning “Forbidden Broadway” is your one-stop ticket to non-stop laughs.
Megan Hilty | December 14 -16, 2023
Megan Hilty’s sweetness, sincerity, humor, and magnificent singing charmed Center Cabaret audiences when she made her debut in 2019. While she might be best known for starring as triple-threat Ivy Lynn in NBC’s musical drama “Smash,” Megan Hilty has triumphed on Broadway, earning Tony and Drama Desk nominations for her performance in the hilarious comedy “Noises Off.” She originated the role of Doralee in Broadway’s “9 to 5” and has been an acclaimed Glinda in “Wicked” in New York and on national tour.
Salute to Olivia Newton–John | January 11-13, 2024
Broadway stars Jessica Hendy and David Burnham are coming together to celebrate the life and career of beloved singer and actress Olivia Newton-John in “Hopelessly Devoted: The Music of Olivia Newton-John.”
With a 60-year career in music, film and television, Olivia Newton-John was a celebrated artist whose work impacted arts & entertainment around the globe. She was a four-time Grammy Award winner with fifteen of her singles ranking in the Top 10 charts (including five songs at number one), and she starred in the hit musical film “Grease” which took the world by storm upon its release in 1978.
She was an inspiring, outspoken voice in environmental activism and animal rights advocacy, and she was bestowed Australia’s highest honor, the Companion of the Order of Australia, for her work as an entertainer and philanthropist before her passing in 2022.
Jessica Hendy is a vocal powerhouse who just closed the recent Broadway revival of “Cats,” She is the only person that has the distinction to have been in the original Broadway production of “Cats,” the National tour, and the Broadway revival.
David Burnham was last seen on Broadway in the mega-hit musical “Wicked” playing Fiyero, a role that he originated in the developmental workshops of the show. OC audiences might also fondly remember David’s starring turn in the “Light in the Piazza” at South Coast Repertory – a show he also appeared in on Broadway.
For this special engagement, Jessica and David will perform their favorite songs from Olivia’s incredible catalogue in an emotional celebration of her life and legacy.
Jeremy Jordan | February 22-24, 2024
For his Cabaret Series debut, Tony nominated Jeremy Jordan will take an exhilarating, decade-spanning journey through Broadway’s greatest hits – performing songs from his signature Broadway roles in “Newsies” and “Waitress,” and showcases selections from favorite musicals like “West Side Story,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma!,” “Rock of Ages” and “Les Misérables.” Jeremy has been performing his solo cabarets to sold-out audiences around the US and London and made his solo Carnegie Hall Debut in October 2019.
Seth Rudetsky’s Broadway Series with Lillias White | May 16-18, 2024
An exciting new addition to the Cabaret Series this year is Seth Rudetsky’s intimate concert and conversation with special guest Lillias White. The evening promises a seamless mix of intimate behind-the-scenes stories prompted by Rudetsky’s funny, insightful, and revealing questions, and the music from White’s stellar Broadway and television career.
Seth Rudetsky is currently the host of “Seth’s Big Fat Broadway” and “Seth Speaks” on Sirius/XM Satellite Radio’s On Broadway channel, and an entertaining radio star and music director with an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Broadway.
Internationally acclaimed Tony, Obie, and Emmy Award-winner Lillias White (“The Life,” “Fela!,” “Dreamgirls,” “Once On This Island,” “Chicago,” Disney’s “Hercules”) most recently starred as Hermes in “Hadestown.” Lillias has previously delighted Cabaret Series audiences and is back by popular demand.
For tickets to the Cabaret Series, visit www.SCFTA.org.