The hometown talent who kicked off the popular Cabaret at The Commons with a January 2014 sellout will return for the winter/spring series.

Columbus native Mary Claire King, who most recently played several roles in Broadway’s “War Paint” that closed Nov. 5, will perform March 22. She attracted what was then a sellout crowd of 400 people.

Keyboard player and jazzy bluesy singer Spencer Day, who first performed locally in January 2016, will make his encore Jan. 18. The third act on the schedule, the Puppini Sisters, a British novelty trio, is slated April 19.

King and Day mark the first performers returning to the series.

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Cabaret at The Commons is presented in collaboration with The Cabaret in Indianapolis. Most of the time, the two entities feature shared artists traveling to the Midwest. That usually calls for the performer doing a show in Columbus on a Thursday night and then an Indianapolis show or two the following night.

The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic’s local series is averaging nearly 300 people per show, said Katelyn Ice, the orchestra’s marketing director. The largest crowd of about 500 people saw Broadway and Emmy-winning actress Jane Lynch and friends present a Christmas show Dec. 7.

Cabaret ticket buyers began suggesting the orchestra bring back King and Day immediately after their performances, Ice said.

“We do pay attention to feedback,” she said.

Columbus resident Steve Fushelberger has attended cabarets over the years in locales such as New York and San Francisco. He also has attended nearly all of the local cabarets since they began, and has become a fan.

“The Philharmonic has successfully brought a whole different kind of entertainment to Columbus,” Fushelberger said. “And it is quality, first-class entertainment of the variety you would see in places such as New York City and other major metro areas.

“The Commons works as a great venue. And the series just adds a whole new dimension to the scene in Columbus, including the quality of life.”

Winter/spring schedule overview

  • Jan. 18: Piano player and jazzy, bluesy singer Spencer Day. He has wowed audiences ranging from The Monterey Jazz Festival to the Hollywood Bowl.
  • March 22: Hometown favorite Mary Claire King, who just completed a Broadway run as several characters in “War Paint.”
  • April 19: The British novelty trio the Puppini Sisters, in part turning pop tunes into lush swing arrangements (you can check out their version of the 1983 hit, “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” for proof online).

Tickets: Until Jan. 1, special pricing of all three shows at either the Preferred price of $100 ($15 savings over 2018 prices) or the VIP price of $150 ($20 savings over 2018 prices).

Information and availability: 812-376-2638 or

The Philharmonic office will be closed the week of Dec. 25, but tickets will be available online.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.