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Clark takes stage for Sundays at Seven

Merideth Kaye Clark “sings beautifully and connects effortlessly with her audience,” two reasons she has been invited back to perform in concert for Clackamas Repertory Theatre’s Sundays at Seven cabaret series, said David Smith-English, artistic director for CRT.

Photo Credit: SUBMITTED - Merideth Clark“The response to Merideth’s solo show last year was so positive that it inspired us to try a new series of cabaret-type performances. We are bringing her back by popular demand; the audience just adored her,” he said.

Clark is a seasoned cabaret performer and knows that variety is an important part of a successful concert, Smith-English said, adding that the concert will include a warm-up performer, a piano player and Cassie Kohl and Jon Quesenberry, two performers from “Carousel,” CRT’s current show.

CRT audiences first met Clark last year, when she starred in “Kiss Me, Kate.” Clark, originally from Kansas City, Mo., is an artist, musician, songwriter, singer and actress, who now lives in Portland.

After appearing at CRT last summer, Clark went on to play the role of Tzeitel, in Portland Center Stage’s “Fiddler on the Roof,” and this year won a Drammy Award for her portrayal of Clara in “The Light in the Piazza,” at Portland Playhouse.

She also performed the role of Elphaba more than 150 times in 35 major U.S. cities in the first national tour of the Broadway musical “Wicked.”

Broadway tunes and more

Opening for Clark will be her friend, singer/songwriter Jenn Grinels. The two met 10 years ago as musical theater performers in San Diego and have since performed together all over the country.

Following the CRT concert, Clark will be playing and singing in Grinels’ band on tour in Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Clark’s set list for her CRT show “is an eclectic mixture of standard Broadway, contemporary Broadway, pop songs, original songs, original arrangements and lots of fun guests and surprises,” she said.

Clark chose songs that she loves to perform and wanted to give the audience a taste of many different genres. What ties them together are her voice and the original arrangements she has put together with her accompanist, Mont Chris Hubbard.

Guest performers

Hubbard also is a singer and songwriter and is the host of a monthly variety show at Tony Starlight’s Supper Club in Portland, Clark said, noting that “he is an impeccable pianist and a really great soloist. I am so lucky to have him with me for this concert.”

She decided to include Quesenberry and Kohl in the concert, “because they are incredible musicians and my friends.”

Last year Clark and Quesenberry worked together in CRT’s “Kiss Me, Kate,” and she and Kohl performed together in an off-Broadway show called “Soul Doctor” in New York City in the summer of 2012.

“I love having the chance to play off of other performers,” Clark added.

Clark said she enjoyed last year’s concert at CRT so much that she jumped at the chance to do it again.

“I really love the people who run CRT; the theater is beautiful, and the audiences are enthusiastic. Doing a solo concert is such a unique opportunity to sing the songs I love, and I also get the chance to showcase some of my original music,” she said.

What will audiences like best about her concert?

“It is intimate. I tell lots of stories. I talk about my life in the theater and why I chose or wrote songs. I encourage the audience to really let me know when they like something, and I think by the end of the concert the audience feels like they really got to know me.”

Enjoy the music

What: Clackamas Repertory Theatre presents Sundays at Seven: An Evening with Merideth Kaye Clark

When: 7 p.m. Aug. 17

Where: Osterman Theatre

at Clackamas Community College, 19600 S. Molalla Ave., Oregon City

Tickets: $15; may be

purchased online at

clackamasrep.org or by

calling 503-594-6047.

Coming up: The final performance will take place on Sept. 28, when Douglas Webster takes to the stage. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway and received the Portland Drammy Award for Best Actor in a Musical (“Les Misérables”). More info at clackamasrep.org.