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Cabaret Nights October 2015


An Annotated List of New York's Leading Cabaret Venues

We are in full autumn swing now, with entertainment as multicolored as a Vermont landscape. The hot news is the joining of Michael Feinstein and popular nightspot, 54 Below. Feinstein who keeps a busy concert schedule and still appears at San Francisco’s Nikko Hotel, will appear during the holiday season on Dec. 20-30. He has been missed in New York since the closing of Feinstein's at the Regency and his participation at the new Feinstein's/54 Below is eagerly celebrated.

Meanwhile, October at Feinstein's/54 Below features the Romantic Notions of Broadway star, Jason Danieley on Oct. 2-5, with all the musical flavors of various love affairs. The next night, Oct. 6. Lee Roy Reams Salutes his Leading Ladies, and the list of those ladies is impressive, from Bacall to Verdon. Who better than Tovah Feldshuh to prove that Aging is Optional, on Oct. 11,13,17,18 and Phillipa Soo uses her day off from Hamilton to deliver a cabaret show on Oct. 19. Persuading us to Come Together: The Music of the Beatles on Oct. 28-31 will be Barb Jungr and John McDaniel. .

Moving across town to the East Village and Noctambulo at Pangea, there's not a better start to a fall weekend than Daryl Sherman with Saturday Brunch with Daryl on Oct. 3, 10. Continuing with the Noctambulo fun, on Sat. night, Oct. 10,17,21, check out musical marvel, Mark Nadler. Bass extraordinaire, Jay Leonhart, appears on Oct. 14,21,28 and the creamy voice of Craig Pomranz is scheduled for Oct. 23,30.

At the Metropolitan Room, Alex Leonard presents a musical tribute to jazz pianist, John Bunch called "the Fred Astaire of the piano." (On Oct. 7). Leonard will be accompanied by guitarist Al Gafa and Jay Leonhart on bass. A talented trio. Jason Graae is in town on Oct. 5 as host and narrator of A Night at the Opera. Performing operatic favorites will be Veronica Loiacono, Edgar Jaramillo, Elena Helmur, Percy Martinez, Jodi Karem, and Roberto Borgatti. Don't be surprised if Jason adds his oboe, his voice and his humor. On Oct. 25. pianist/singer, Kathleen Landis is musical director and performer for Cabaret Cares, a non-profit organization helping children with HIV and AIDS. The occasion is the celebration of Johnny Mathis' 80th birthday and host is Frank Dain . Guests include Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, Kevin Dozier, Jeff Harnar, Tanya Holt, Marieann Meringolo, Kurt Peterson, Stacy Sullivan and Lennie Watts.

The Cafe Carlyle brings back Buster Poindexter with a new show on Sept. 29-Oct. 10. Will it be rock, punk, blues, or pop? Will he be in sequins or black tie? Whatever he delivers will be hot, hot, hot. Coming up on Oct. 13-17 is jazz vocalist, Kurt Elling. Called "Male Singer of the Year" for eight years by Jazz Journalists Association, he will deliver, Elling Swings Sinatra. Ending the month, Oct. 20-31 is Alexa Ray Joel and you know who's daughter she is. Her songbook is eclectic and catchy.

Remember the 26th Cabaret Convention, running from Oct. 13-16 at Town Hall, 6pm. Four star-studded nights of great music saluting, A Sentimental Journey: World War II Love Songs, and Kander and Ebb's songs in Life Is a Cabaret. Oct. 15 presents, The Music of Vernon Duke and Marvin Hamlisch, and A Gala Opening Night kicks off the whole event on Oct. 13.

Stop in after work or during a walk for a cocktail and jazz at CitySpire Atrium, between 55th and 56 Streets, at 6pm. On the third Thursday this month, Oct. 15, the Cocktail Concert presents a gold-plated freebie, reknown jazz singer, Marlene VerPlanck.

For information:

An Annotated List of New York's Leading Cabaret Venues
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.
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