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Cabaret Nights May 2015


An Annotated List of New York's Leading Cabaret Venues

The recent passing of the legendary Queen of Cabaret, Julie Wilson, is a personal loss and a loss for the theater and cabaret community. 54 Below celebrates the 70-year career of this beloved performer on May 9 and 14 with some notable performers. Julie, who was at almost every new performer's show, applauding and encouraging, would be humbled by these celebrations in her honor and yet she would relish and love every moment.

Also at 54 Below, lovely Jennifer Sheehan continues with her show, STARDUST: A Night in the Cosmos. Mark down May 9 and 20 for her songs, tracing "our life-long love affair with the magnificent and mysterious night sky!" Songs by Duke Ellington, Sergio Mendes, and Joni Mitchell to Pink Martini have all been inspired by moonlight, stars and clouds. On May 1,2,3, Roslyn Kind returns to New York with some great songs and stories. Maybe she'll add a mention or two of her big sister, Barbra, not that Roslyn, has to cling to Streisand's acclaim. She is a big talent on her own. On May 6, 54 Below honors another singing legend who we lost recently, Leslie Gore. .

If you were a fan of TV variety shows in the '60's, you probably saw 16-year-old Karen Wyman who was a popular entertainer on all of them, shows like The Dean Martin Show, The Ed Sullivan Show. After a hit record, she retired to raise a family. Now she's back and let me tell you, this girl can sing as well as she ever did, and probably better. She appears at Iridium Jazz Club on May 26. Actor/singer Danny Aiello comes in swinging at the Iridium on May 2 with his jazz group, Danny Aiello with Joe Geary and the Guys.

If you didn't drop into Pompie's Place last month at Don't Tell Mama, you have another chance on May 10 (Mother's Day), May 11,28. Hosted by Arthur Pompasello, jazz singers Hilary Gardner, Brianna Waters, Lezlie Harrison and a five-star quintet tell the story of the blues in an intimate setting. Enjoy a Cajun dinner and a drink and start your toes tapping.

It's not summer yet but it promises to be "hot, hot, hot" on May 1 at 1pm in the Metropolitan Room. Laurie Krauz's Jazz Soup returns with some sizzling performers, Natalie Douglas, Cleve Douglass, Martha Lorin, Anne Phillips, Daryl Kojak, Sean Conly, Dwayne 'Cook' Broadnax and Laurie Krauz. This popular series offers swinging nourishment every month. Also at the Metropolitan, the smooth sounds of Kevin Dozier gives tribute to A New York Romance on May 13 and lovely Stacy Sullivan sings some personal favorites in her May 21 program, Since You’ve Asked. Stacy's beautiful and talented mother, Elizabeth Sullivan offers a show of her own at the Metropolitan on May 24. Marissa Muldaur presents a new show, Instincts, on May 29. You can expect to see a lot of shows with popular Julie Budd at the Metropolitan Room this year. Julie is named Celebrity Artist in Residence, and is scheduled for May 14, with They Wrote the Songs. She will be back again several times through December.

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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