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Cabaret Nights July 2016


Whatever the season, New York is the place to be. For just a $10 suggested donation, Midday Jazz Midtown offers a tempting weekly hour of music in the center of the city. Escape from the summer heat on Wednesdays at 1pm in Saint Peter's Church at 619 Lexington Avenue. On July 6, Aaron Weinstein, a violinist with a droll touch, joins New York's favorite cabaret/concert pianist, Tedd Firth. On July 13, Geoff Gallante, a 14-year-old trumpet player, joins his budding talents with the likes of seasoned players like Jim DeSalvo (piano), Steve Varner (bass), Mario Fabrizio (drums), Mike Lee (saxophone). Composer/pianist/singer Jimmy Roberts takes the stage on July 20. Talented and popular jazz singer, Hilary Kole swings and sways on July 27. Who needs a vacation with such talents as these in the middle of our town?

If you can't get enough of Aaron Weinstein and Tedd Firth at Midday Jazz, they are back again the next night, July 7, at Pangea, 178 2nd Ave. with  Violinspiration. At this downtown East Village spot, you can also catch the exotic Aussie, Kim David Smith with Morphium Kabarett on July 6, 13 delivering music in dramatic Weimar style. Jazz songbird, Martha Lorin appears on July 16 and the irrepressible Mark Nadler offers two shows on July 23, at 7pm and 9:30pm.

Birdland brings back another jazz favorite, Stacey Kent, for week of July 5-9. Triple threat, Tony Yazbek is onstage July 10,11, dancing and singing in, The Floor Above Me. That busy couple of swells, Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, bring their talents to Birdland on Sunday July 17 with Sun, Skin, Sin and Sinatra. Expect a sparkling and snazzy hour. Catch Lesli Margherita if you can on July 18 and 25, in her salute to brassy dames, BROAD. Jim Caruso's Cast Party beats the heat every Monday night.

July 1,2 brings Rob McClure to Feinsteins/54Below with his influences in story and song. He brings a quartet of great vocalists, Jenn Colella, Jennifer Barnhart, Rick Lyon and Matthew Scott. Following is that Jersey Boy with the skyscraping falsetto, John Lloyd Young (July 5-9). On July 7, 21 (and Aug. 4, 18) Scott Siegel moved from Town Hall with Broadway's Jukebox: From ABBA to The Four Seasons and From Elvis to The Beatles. The cast on July 7 includes Farah Alvin, Joshua Greenblatt, Douglas Ladnier, Kenita Miller and Brian Charles Rooney . I guess a nickel in the jukebox won't get you much music, music, music these days, but you're sure to get some summertime fun. On July 15, Siegel offers Broadway Originals: Features Tony Danza. Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner perform Unattached on July 12,13,19,20,22,23,25. And the great Barbara Cook is scheduled for Jul 21 and 23, although the show is already sold out.

The Metropolitan Room brings back some must-see shows. Laurie Krauz and Daryl Kojak Celebrate 25 Years of Making Music - RETURNS on July 12. Expect vocal fireworks. The next evening, Maureen Taylor presents Taylor Made - Bob Merrill. Merrill wrote some fun pop oldies like "Mambo Italiano" and "Honeycomb," on July 13 and I am really looking forward to Karen Oberlin with BAD LOVE -The Randy Newman Songbook. (July 27)

The world has been through a few weeks of frightening terrorism and nothing is more uplifting than love and laughs and music. Let's take advantage of New York's banquet of talent.

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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 2016, Elyse Sommer.
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