Karen Mason Award-Winning Broadway Cabaret Singer/Actor


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My guest this month has been called a poet of the vocal cords and "the Queen of Cabarets." Karen Mason originated the role of Tanya in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia and has had starring roles in Wonderland, Hairspray, Sunset Boulevard, and the first U.S. tour of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Love Never Dies. She's shared concert stages with Michael Feinstein, Jerry Herman, Chita Rivera, Luciano Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, Liza Minnelli, and John Kander & Fred Ebb, among others. Karen's performed with major symphony orchestras and headlined Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, and London's Royal Albert Hall.

A 14-time Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs Award-winner, she received the MAC Award for Major Female Vocalist of the Year for six consecutive years and was honored with the MAC Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019.

Her television appearances include the hit dramas “Ed,” “Law & Order: SVU,” and, most recently, an appearance in the Netflix series Halston starring Ewan McGregor.

In our conversation, Karen talks about what the differences are between cabaret and Broadway and pushes back against those who claim that Broadway is the superior of the two. She also shares how she prepares for both types of performances and finds the story in a song. We discuss how to handle hecklers and how she works on patter - the talking that goes before and after songs.

We talk about our crush on Ewan McGregor and what it was like to work with him on the series Halston, her new album of songs, Let The Music Play, and much more.

Karen is an accomplished vocalist and actor and a delightful person. She's smart, thoughtful, kind, and laughs easily — the kind of person you'd love to have for a friend. I'm grateful for the time she shared with me and now, you.
For full show notes, transcriptions of this episode, and more offerings for singers, you can visit my website HERE.
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The songs from today’s episode are Don’t Rain On My Parade, Steppin’ Out, and Let The Music Play, and are from Karen’s CD, Let The Music Play (used with permission.) You can listen to the entire album HERE. To purchase go HERE.

Theme music for the Podcast was composed by John Smith. He helps me edit all the podcast episodes too. (Thanks honey!)

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