O'Neill's cabaret conference wraps up

Betty Buckley

It's been a typically jam-packed and high-quality summer at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, and it's coming to a close this weekend.

But it's finishing big.

Betty Buckley, who's been called "The Voice of Broadway," performs two shows Friday as part of the O'Neill's Cabaret & Performance Conference. She is a stage luminary, for sure, having starred in "Cats" - her version of "Memory" remains the gold standard, and she won a Tony for her performance - and having earned a Drama Desk Award earlier this year for the Horton Foote play "The Old Friends."

Her career, though, hasn't been limited to the stage. Buckley's film credits run from "Carrie" to "Tender Mercies" to "Frantic." On TV, she played the stepmother in "Eight Is Enough" and has had recurring roles on shows as diverse as "Oz" and "Pretty Little Liars."

Is there anything this woman can't do?

And she sings like a dream - and she will at the O'Neill.

As for the rest of the cabaret conference: Tonight, the cabaret fellows present their own songs and stories, inspired by their work with the conference's masters artist teachers. On Saturday, everyone joins in for the cabaret conference grand finale. And there are free open mic nights at Blue Gene's Pub after regular performances tonight and Friday.

- KRISTINA DORSEY

Cabaret & Performance Conference, Eugene O'Neill Theater Center, 305 Great Neck Road, Waterford; cabaret fellows, 8 tonight ($35); Betty Buckley, 7 and 9;30 p.m. Friday ($50), and grand finale, 8 p.m. Saturday ($50); (860) 443-1238.

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