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Cabaret Nights August 2019


On August 5 Richard Skipper, a cabaret favorite, steps up for a one-night only appearance just-off-Broadway, at St. Luke's Theater (308 W 46th St, NYC). The date marks the 40th anniversary of Skipper's arrival in New York from South Carolina and he presents songs and stories to tell all about it. When he came here, he had never traveled far from his home town or even flown in a plane. He knew no one in New York and now celebrates the early struggles of a young show biz talent who is known around the cabaret community as "Mr. Entertainment." Hurry though, this show is almost sold out.

After Barbara Fasano's end of July show at Birdland Theater, she moves upstairs on Aug.3,10,24,31, joining husband/pianist/vocalist Eric Comstock and Sean Smith on bass for their Sat. evening musical hour. The month also continues with smooth vocalist, Freddie Cole in his July engagement until Aug. 13. John Pizzarelli offers a chance to "Swing, Swing, Swing" on Aug.1,2,3 with A Tribute to Benny Goodman: With Special Guest, Ken Peplowski. Join one of the best vocalists, Jane Scheckter on Aug. 4 with her wonderful show, I've (Still) Got my Standards. Aug.5 features Steve Ross singing and playing Songs I Love, music from his acclaimed shows over the years. On the following nights, Aug. 6-10, catch Grammy and Tony Award-winning jazz giant, Dee Dee Bridgewater. On Aug. 13, in two shows, Karen Oberlin celebrates a show I have loved, The Life and Music of Doris Day. Gunhild Carling, a jazz wizard on trumpet, trombone, harmonica, flute, recorder, jazz bagpipe, struts her stuff on Aug.16,17 (two shows each night) and Aug.18. Aug. 19 brings in Max von Essen, with Call Me Old Fashioned: The Broadway Standard. Carole J. Bufford appears on Aug. 25 and Klea Blackhurst follows on Aug. 26 as One of the Girls.

At Feinstein's 54/Below, Broadway's Sierra Boggess chats and sings about life lessons learned on the stage (Aug.1-4). Then the namesake himself rules for three weeks, Michael Feinstein, saluting this town with I Happen To Like New York, always giving a nod to the late, great Bobby Short. Feinstein will be joined by New York's cabaret queen, Marilyn Maye (Aug. 6-13), singer/songwriter Melissa Manchester (Aug. 15-20) and Jackie Evancho (Aug. 21-23).

Who needs sand and sky when you've got the fun and music at Beach Cafe? Nicolas Page brings his special verve and vibe on Aug. 10. Another cabaret favorite, Melissa Mulder, appears on Aug. 16 and the next evening brings back Karen Akers, Aug. 17.

Is it theater? Cabaret? Who cares? Celebrity Autobiography at the Triad Theater is the show that won't quit. On Aug. 26, artists scheduled are Michael Urie, Rachel Dratch, Alan Zweibel, John Fugelsang, Eugene Pack, Dayle Reyfel. If you have not seen this show, give yourself a treat. It is a guaranteed good time.

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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 2019, Elyse Sommer.
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