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CurtainUp's
Cabaret Nights February 2017

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Valentine celebrates Birdland with Catherine Johnson and her Sextet offering Nothing But Love Songs from Feb. 14-18. Jay Armstrong Johnson ( Candide ) appears on Feb. 6 in Broadway at Birdland series. The following Monday (Feb. 13) features Love Songs for V-Day, a benefit for VDAY, a global movement to end violence against women and girls. The all-woman cast features Broadway performers, including Loni Ackerman and Tatiana Lofton. Michael Mott makes his Birdland debut for a one night only concert of his original music on Feb. 27. Joining him is Seran Bilgi and Jeremy Stolle.

Lyrics & Lyricists at the 92nd Street Y presents Let's Misbehave: The Sensational Songs of Cole Porter on Feb. 11,12,13. Porter was a witty and sophistication master of popular songs like "Beguine the Beguine" and theater standards for Kiss Me Kate, Anything Goes. Writer and host, David Loud, gathered talents including Allison Blackwell, Lewis Cleale, Nikki Renee Daniels, Rebecca Luker, Matthew Scott to entertain.

On Inauguration Day, a sold-out audience at The Metropolitan Room were cheered by outstanding singers performing songs inspired by defiance and the fight for liberty. The vibe in the room was electric and Scott Siegel was encouraged to follow with Protest Songs-Volume 2! . While Inauguration Day is over, political feelings are as hot as ever, so listen to the past speak to the present and perhaps change the future with more classic protest songs by Jacques Brel, Bob Dylan and others. Scheduled so far are Michael Cerveris, Sal Viviano and Laila Robins. (Feb. 10). Amy Oestreicher presents Gutless and Grateful, interwoven songs and dialogue about her life, survival and success. (On Feb. 5,25). Worth seeing are Karen Oberlin's Bad Love with Randy Newman's songs on Feb. 8 and Stacy Sullivan on Feb. 9 with A Night at the Troubadour. Of course, for the first lady of jazz, it's Annie Ross every Tuesday. Stephen Hanks Presents New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits with Jenna Esposito singing the songs of Connie Francis.

The fashion world meets cabaret when designer Isaac Mizrahi appears at the Cafe Carlyle telling stories and, surprisingly, singing songs. (Jan. 31-Feb.11). On Feb. 3 at 10:45 pm, it's a look back at the '50's and '60's and the soft tones of Ricky Nelson. His twin sons offer a one-night-only, Ricky Nelson Remembered: starring Matthew and Gunnar Nelson. John Lloyd Young serenades his fans, and there are many, from Feb. 14-25. On Feb. 28, songwriter/singer Joan Osborne is scheduled through Mar. 11.

Valentine's Day with a twist. Sue Matsuki is Coming Back to Mama with pianist Gregory Toroian to celebrate their 23rd year of artistic collaboration Don't Tell Mama on Feb. 18. Not the usual love songs, Sue will explore other aspects of romance, like puberty, "the first time" and bad boys. On Feb. 12 and 19, Billie Roe returns with her popular show, Monopoly. Amy Beth Williams is Carried Away on Feb. 28.

The fifth of Scott Siegel's Broadway Originals! is on Feb. 4 at Feinsteins 54/Below with Broadway songs performed by the stars who originated them. Included are Stephanie J. Block,  Len Cariou, Claybourne Elder, Bill Irwin, Lee Roy Reams  and more. On Feb. 5, Siegel has a different show The Great Broadway Belt Show! If you are thrilled hearing big voices sing "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" and "Defying Gravity," this lineup has the singers who really belt them out. Siegel has brought William Blake, Laurel Harris, Jillian Louis, Patrice Covington, Natalie Toro, and Danielle Gimbal.  On Valentine's Day, the club presents Love I Hear: Broadway Couples Celebrate Valentine's Day. Included are Allison Guinn & Glen Heroy from On the Town, Amy Jo Jackson & Jeff Ronan from Kinky Boots , Geoff Packard & Chelsea Packard from Matilda and more. Plus a special menu! Tony Danza struts his stuff on Feb. 24, 25. If you plan to watch the glamour and glitz of Oscar Night , Feinsteins 54/Below has ballads to predict, prizes and a special prix fixe Oscar Night menu.

Valentine's Day and Oscar Night - two events worth celebrating. Feinsteins 54/Below.





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New York's Leading Cabaret Venues
Feinstein's 54 Below, 254 West 54th Street,646) 476-3551. The club is just below the stage of Studio 54. For tickets, call (866) 468-7619. Reasonable, interesting menu and dramatic decor. The sightlines are all good. Seats about 144. Covers vary but they are reasonable. Credit cards are accepted.

Metropolitan Room, 34 West 22nd Street. (212)-206-0440. A favorite. Friendly, comfortable and reasonable. Covers are $15 to $35, depending on performer and two-drink minimum. Serves tempting pies, cakes (try the carrot cake), and a few snack bowls. Alas, food is not included in drink minimum. Every Tuesday, Annie Ross swings with great band.

Don't Tell Mama, 343 West 46 St. (212) 757-0788. Middle of theatre district with cabaret and a lively piano bar seven days a week. A long time favorite, reasonable, run well with wide variety of talent and friendly staff. Covers vary but are reasonable, plus two drink minimum. Credit cards not accepted.

The Duplex, 61 Christopher Street on 7th Avenue.Piano bar with an open mike downstairs and singers upstairs. Check out weekly events.

The Laurie Beechman Theater, West Bank Cafe, 407 West 42 Street. (212) 695-6909.$15 minimum plus cover. Besides nightly performers, they present New Voices on Monday nights ($10 cover). Friday nights is The After Party (No cover, no minimum). This spot is always adding something new.

Time Out Lounge, West 50 St., west of Eighth Avenue. If you're around New World Stages, take the elevator down to this no-cover little bar with jazz and standards.

Birdland, 315 W 44th St. NYC. Phone: 212-581-3080. Cabaret features Monday nights with "Broadway at Birdland" at 7pm. Then stay on for Jim Caruso's Cast Party, 9:30pm to 1:00am ($10 Cover and a $10 Food/Drink Minimum). Bar, minimum $5 plus cover. Offers good Cajun cooking at reasonable prices.

Iridium, 1650 Broadway (51st Street), (212) 582-2121. Monday nights with legendary Les Paul is a must-see. Strong jazz lineup the rest of the week and some solid jazzy singers. Prices vary.

Midtown Jazz at Midday, St. Peter's Church, Lexington Avenue and 54th Street, (212) 935-2200. A real bargain. Every Wednesday, bring your sandwich, pay $2 and watch top-notch jazz or cabaret artist for an hour. Begins 12:30pm.

Reprise Room @ Dillon's, 254 West 54 Street. NYC. Every Monday night, Back in Pictures, songs from movies. Check schedule.

Broadway Baby Bistro at Broadway Comedy Club. 318 W. 53 St. NYC., 212-757-5808. A piano bar and show room. Credit cards accepted.

The Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd St., 212-362-2590. Climb up the winding stairs to the cabaret room. Frequently features Off-off Broadway shows Covers vary often $10 or $15 or higher.

Joe's Pub, 425 Lafayette Street. 212-962-7555 or 212-539-8778. Good news/bad news. This is not a concert space and not a cabaret space, but a bit of both. It lacks intimacy but usually features intriguing artists and some big names trying new venues. Can be packed and some sightlines are undesirable, yet excitement level can be high. You must buy tickets in advance and then make seating/dinner reservations. Two drink or $12 food minimum per person.

When price is no object

Cafe Carlyle, Madison Avenue at 76th Street. (212) 744-1600. Beautiful room for posh night out with big-name entertainer. Monday night is jazz night with Woody Allen, if he shows up. Cover is high, and varies.

©Copyright 2017, Elyse Sommer.
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