In any story about the basics of vocalist and Columbus native Mary Claire King, remember this: People who have known her for years talk about a voice nearly bigger than Broadway’s grandeur. Why else would the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic bring her home from her current New York City apartment twice this calendar year for performances, including the 7:30 p.m. Saturday show at Judson Erne Auditorium? Here are five things to know about King:
Saturday’s concert, “The Best of Broadway,” means plenty to her. “This is a moment I have been hoping for since my days in the Columbus Indiana Children’s Choir, and I am so thankful to the community for the unending support throughout the years,” she said.
She sold out her 400-seat Cabaret at The Commons show — when the weather was icy and the temperatures dipped to single digits. That’s part of the support to which she refers. By comparison, Broadway megastar Mandy Gonzalez’s appearance in the series drew 225 people, considered a solid showing, and was said to be tickled with such a crowd.
This weekend’s concert features hits from Broadway and opera, since, after all, New York’s Metropolitan Opera once was located at Broadway and 39th Street. Her song list includes “Fly Fly Away” from “Catch Me if You Can” and “Forget About the Boy” from “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”
Philharmonic Music Director David Bowden, who sang with King at her cabaret concert, has been predicting big stardom for King for some time — and has only pressed the accelerator since that performance. Bowden is unafraid to deal in superlatives about many artists who have performed locally. But remember also that his predictions long ago about other singers such as Hoosier vocalist Angela Brown have proven accurate now that she is seen as a bonafide international opera star.
The Columbus North High School and Syracuse University graduate, well known to local audiences the past decade, still retains a good-natured sense of self-deprecating humor in the rough-and-tumble entertainment field. In January she laughed easily about professional sideline work that included yodeling and even a turn as “Frozen” princess Elsa at a children’s event.
Who: Columbus native Mary Claire King, formerly of the Broadway tour of “Catch Me If You Can,” appearing with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic and the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Chorus.
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Where: Judson Erne Auditorium, 1400 25th St.
Tickets: Prices range from $15 to $50 with a limited number of $10 student tickets.
Information and purchasing: 812-376-2638, ext. 110, or the cip.org.