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Cabaret Nights October 2017
From October 16 to 20, Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center will sing out the voices of The 28th New York Cabaret Convention. A Gala Opening Night will be hosted by KT Sullivan with favorites including Marilyn Maye, Brent Barrett and Carole J. Bufford. On Oct. 17, Karen Akers, Eric Comstock, Barbara Fasano and others join Jeff Harnar and Andrea Marcovicci hosting S'Wonderful: The Music of George Gershwin. Writer James Gavin presents the third evening, Oct 18, Intimate Nights: The Golden Age of Cabaret with singers including Sidney Myer, Natalie Douglas and Barbara Brussell. The convention ends on Thurs. Oct. 20 with Too Marvelous For Words/Stardust: The Music of Hoagy Carmichael and Richard Whiting featuring Billy Stritch, Kristoffer Lowe and Stacy Sullivan. Tickets are still available at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Broadway at 60th Street.
This Moment (Oct. 20) marks the return of one of cabaret's favorites, Barbara Brussell, to Don't Tell Mama. Cabaret's California golden girl will appear at the Cabaret Convention on Oct. 18 but will stay long enough to add her own show to DTM. Brussell is a dramatic songbird and someone to see. Later that evening, the beat goes on with Daryl Sherman and It's All in The Game: Great Songs You Know but Didn't Know Are by Carl Sigman and you'll recognize a lot of familiar Sigman hits. The next evening, Oct. 21, Marcus Simeone & Sean Harkness go all sultry as they return with their acclaimed program, Blue. Stephen Hanks presents the songbook of songwriter/singer Don McLean to DTM on Oct. 12. I saw a performance of this show awhile ago and Hanks is as compelling a storyteller as was McLean, delivering some irresistible slices of American pie. Also at DTM, actor/singer J. Michael Reeds returns on Oct. 14 with Ghosts of Vaudeville, performing Marc McBarron Kessler's original music. Returning with Serenade in Blue is indefatigable songstress Carol Shedlin on Oct. 23,30.
The Cafe Carlyle presents singer/songwriter/composer Duncan Sheik ( Spring Awakening ) performing some of his theater works, past and upcoming . (Oct. 3-7). Always expect earthiness and honesty with singer/songwriter/actress Rita Wilson, returning Oct. 10-21 with personal songs in her latest CD. Actress/singer Mandy Gonzalez ( Hamilton ) brings her theater talents to the intimate club on Oct. 24-Nov. 4.
On certain Sunday afternoons, the place to be is with Richard Skipper Celebrates... at the Laurie Beechman Theater. On Oct. 8, he celebrates Rouben Mamoulian, director of Porgy and Bess, Sugar Babies . Special guests include Natalie Douglas, Sally Darling, Dierdre Friel, Nancy McGraw. KT Sullivan also appears on Oct. 15 and don't miss entertainer Sidney Myer. (Oct. 15,25). Jeff Harnar brings back one of his great golden oldie shows, Sammy Cahn: All The Way. Dawn Derow salutes the women of WWII in her new show, White Cliffs on Oct. 9.
Come On And Hear: An Irving Berlin Celebration by the pure piano and singing entertainment of Steve Ross. (Oct. 23). For fans of Shirley Bassey, run, don't walk, to see Natalie Douglas who returns to Birdland on Oct. 30 with her latest tribute, Bassey .
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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.