After a year of an empty stage due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Westport Country Playhouse will be presenting a series of live, in-person cabaret performances featuring a plethora of Broadway stars. The \u201cCabaret in the Robards\u201d series will feature Broadway\u2019s Brad Simmons, Tonya Pinkins, Larry Owens and Ali Stroker performing to benefit the theater\u2019s reopening. \u201cWe\u2019re so excited to have each of these stars bring their unique show to the stage and re-enliven the Robards, which has not seen an audience for over a year,\u201d said Gretchen Wright, director of development for the Westport Country Playhouse. \u201cIf you\u2019ve missed that feeling you get at a live performance, don\u2019t miss these cabarets.\u201d The first of the series, \u201cAn Evening with Brad Simmons and Tonya Pinkins,\u201d takes place at 8 p.m. on June 26, with the duo presenting Broadway favorites, contemporary covers, classics and more. \u201cWe\u2019ve been performing together for about eight years and we\u2019ll do some solos and some duets,\u201d said Pinkins, a Tony Award-winning veteran of nine Broadway shows. \u201cWe\u2019re very funny, we tease each other, and we do a fun selection of jazz, rock and pop as well, even mixing in some Latin folk music.\u201d The diverse set list will include everything from \u201cAll Night Long,\u201d made famous by Lionel Richie, the jazz standard \u201cThat Old Black Magic,\u201d and \u201cLa Llorona,\u201d a classic Mexican folk song. \u201cWe\u2019ll do a mashup of Broadway songs, and Brad is simply amazing at mashups,\u201d Pinkins said. \u201cIn total, we will do about 12 to 14 songs, but in those numbers there may be 20 songs because of the way Brad does arrangements.\u201d While many performers had little to do this past year, Pinkins was proactive and traveled to Korea, a country she realized early on had a very clear idea of how to control the pandemic. While there, she edited her film \u201cRed Pill,\u201d which has gone on to win more than 15 international awards. Pinkins wrote, directed, produced and starred in the film. \u201cI went there to finish editing, and I just traveled around the country while I was there,\u201d she said. \u201cWhen I was back home, I spent a few months in Mississippi shooting a limited series for ABC called \u2018Women of the Movement,\u2019 which will air later this year. I also spent time in Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. I love to travel.\u201d She\u2019s looking forward to being in front of a live crowd again and being one of the first to be on stage in front of a Westport Country Playhouse audience. \u201cIt\u2019s going to be a big night out for us as well,\u201d Pinkins said. \u201cI haven\u2019t been working the muscles, and so our first few performances I was like, \u2018Oh, God, I don\u2019t even know if I can do this again,\u2019 but I worked with my vocal coach and he\u2019s helped me, so it\u2019s once again effortless and fun. There\u2019s something very powerful about music.\u201d Simmons, a noted concert artist and music director who has shared the stage with Broadway luminaries such as Alice Ripley, Beth Leavel and Donna McKechnie, is thrilled to be back with his cabaret partner after more than a year. \u201cWe work because we laugh a lot, and I think that\u2019s so important, because what\u2019s the point of doing this if you\u2019re not having a good time,\u201d Simmons said. \u201cPlus, I think we sound really good. She\u2019s at a point in her life where her voice is deepening and so we kind of have about the same vocal ranges. It\u2019s kind of like the Everly Brothers, and we do a lot of great harmony throughout the show, and it\u2019s just fun to sing with her.\u201d Originally, the performance was to take place outside by the garden, but when restrictions were relaxed, things were moved indoors to the Playhouse stage. \u201cIt\u2019s going to be a big show and very exciting, with a lot of energy behind it,\u201d Simmons said. \u201cWe\u2019ll have a nice concert Steinway, and that\u2019s a big difference. That\u2019s an upgrade from what it would have been, so we\u2019re both happy that we will be doing it inside.\u201d The series continues July 17 with \u201cAn Evening with Larry Owens,\u201d where the theater vet will perform his show \u201cSondheimia,\u201d exploring time, love and ambition through the music and lyrics of Stephen Sondheim. The series finishes on July 24 with \u201cAn Evening with Ali Stroker.\u201d Each of the concerts will operate with COVID-19 health and safety protocols in place, including masks required and social distancing. Tickets start at $150. For more information, visit westportplayhouse.org.