Born: July 18, 1966 Primary Instrument: Vocal
Karen Oberlin, a jazz-cabaret singer who was recently named as a finalist for Outstanding Vocalist for the 2007 Nightlife Award for her work in her new show, Like Love: The Popular Music of Andre Previn, won the Back Stage Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist of the Year for her previous show, the critically acclaimed Secret Love: A Tribute to the True Doris Day. (An award-winning CD was developed from the show, Secret Love: The Music of Doris Day, on the Miranda Music label.) Her voice and interpretations, called moving, artful, and velvety, by Entertainment Weekly, have been heard at major New York venues such as Town Hall (for the Mabel Mercer Cabaret Convention, and the Broadway By The Year series), Merkin Hall, The Metropolitan Room, The Firebird, and The Knitting Factory, among others, and she entertained sold-out audiences at the Algonquin Hotel’s Oak Room to launch the release of her highly lauded debut CD, My Standards (Miranda Music). She performed in the world premiere of the newly discovered musical by Duke Ellington and Herb Martin, Renaissance Man, as well as in an all-star CD version, Secret Ellington (True Life), which featured Joe Lovano, Grover Washington, Jr., and Freddy Cole, among others. She has also had guest appearances on other CD compilations.
Ms. Oberlin appeared in more than 100 Off-Broadway performances of the smash-hit show Our Sinatra, and has performed her own shows nationally and abroad. She had the honor of being part of the first-ever Cabaret Conventions in both Philadelphia and the Hamptons. Ms. Oberlin was in the first staged incarnation of the now-legendary Broadway show, Rent, in the role of Maureen. She has also held lead roles at such prestigious theatres as the North Carolina Theatre, the Palace Theatre in Louisville, The Prince Music Theatre in Philadelphia and the Ordway Theatre in St. Paul. She has appeared as a professional actress in everything from Shakespeare to national commercials, including playing a nurse on ALL MY CHILDREN and acting in both independent and feature films. She also enjoyed being part of a professional a capella group called Where’s The Band? for many years.
Ms. Oberlin has a deep background in classical music, jazz, cabaret, theatre and musical theatre. The youngest daughter of two classical musicians, she often performed and competed in classical music singing events as a child in upstate New York. She also played piano and flute, and cello in the county orchestra, and she performed in her first role in an opera at age six. Since then she has performed continuously and trained extensively, graduating from the Circle In The Square Professional Workshop Broadway theatre conservatory in New York after receiving her B.A. in English Literature. She has studied voice for more than twenty years, and she teaches master classes and private sessions in both acting and interpreting song. Ms. Oberlin is a dedicated yogi, a very happy mother and stepmother, and is married to the writer David Hajdu.
Ms. Oberlin's vocals can only be described as heavenly, and her performance flawless. You simply must see and hear (her)... (It) is perfection! -- Stu Hamstra, Cabaret Hotline
(Oberlin) presents (songs) as lusciously lyrical tales told for the very first time. -- David Murphy, Time Out NY
Riveting... Exciting... Poignant... Oberlin mixes exquisite singing with pithy and charming patter. A gifted writer and performer! -- Barbara & Scott Siegel, Theatermania.com