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Former St. Louisan Returns With Cabaret Act

Karen Mason
Courtesy of Karen Mason

Actress and singer Karen Mason may be best known for playing Norma Desmond in “Sunset Boulevard” on Broadway, but this weekend in St. Louis her focus is cabaret.

Mason, a former Florissant resident, will perform at the Gaslight Cabaret Festival on Friday and Saturday. In her show, “Secrets of the Ancient Divas,” Mason will pay homage to Judy Garland, Peggy Lee and Barbra Streisand.

“All these great women who have inspired me, I really wanted to do a show devoted to those — basically all of the divas I stole from when I was growing up,” Mason told “Cityscape” host Steve Potter on Friday. “These are songs that have influenced me and that I love.”

Growing up, Mason said she watched Garland in “Meet Me in St. Louis” with her sisters. She said she still looks up to and tries to emulate Garland.

“For Judy Garland in particular, it always felt like personal communication. It always felt like somehow she was talking to you, the audience member, in a very personal way and that she was telling you something very real and honest,” Mason said. “That’s an incredible actor, an incredible performer.”

For Mason, there aren’t big differences between performing on Broadway or performing in a cabaret festival.

“It’s all performing. It’s all getting up in front of an audience and trying to do what you do,” she said.

The Gaslight Cabaret Festival runs through Nov. 22.

Related Event

Gaslight Cabaret Festival with Karen Mason

  • When: 8 p.m. Oct. 17 and 18, 2014
  • Where: Gaslight Theatre, 358 N. Boyle Ave., St. Louis
  • More information

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.