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Cabaret Nights April 2017
No foolin'! The Metropolitan Room kicks off April Fool's Day on April 1 with New York Opera presenting Opera's Desperate Housewives--and The Men That Made Them That Way! Six legit opera singers dramatize famous mad scenes from the opera world with off-beat approaches. On April 7, Baby Jane Dexter reprises her acclaimed show, Body and Soul at the Metropolitan Room. In November, I wrote, "With the magnetic Ross Patterson at the keyboard, a Baby Jane Show is invincible, always believable, always compassionate." She is the real deal and you can catch her again on April 7. Another favorite at the Metropolitan Room is Bernie Furshpan's This is Your Night!, a show profiling a significant someone contributing to New York's live entertainment industry. On April 4, the honoree is Scott Barbarino, head honcho of ScoBar Entertainment who brings us some of the jazz and cabaret world's favorite performers. A great idea is the Metropolitan Room's series on Saturdays at 1pm, Kids For Coltrane - Beauty, Love and Justice Workshops. It's never too early to teach children and expose them to great music. On Apr. 8,5,29 and May 13. When your kids are a little older, you can treat them to jazz singer Annie Ross' show every Tuesday night at 9:30pm.
John O'Hurley, actor, author, pianist, raconteur and host of the annual Purina National Dog Show, is scheduled for the Cafe Carlyle stage from Mar.28-Apr. 8, with stories and songs. If you are a fan of America's Got Talent, you will already know Jackie Evancho, a poised and 17-year-old soprano who has captured world attention. You have a chance to see her from April 11-22. Returning to the Cafe Carlyle from April 25-May 6 is John Pizzarelli.
Popular cabaret performer, Sue Matsuki, is especially busy this month at Don't Tell Mama. On Apr. 7, If I Could Talk To The Animals, reminds us of all the animal songs that became music pop standards. Think "Crocodile Rock" and "Cow Cow Boogie." Later in the month, Matsuki reprises her show, Ella and Me, celebrating Ella Fitzgerald's 100th anniversary. Lisa Viggiano declares Three's a Charm, on Apr. 2 and award-winning singer, Julie Reyburn, proves that Fate is Kind on Apr. 22. Deborah Stone shows she is Still Exactly Where I Belong on Apr. 15. Leslie Orofino offers a show of Cocktails and Cole, and this pretty sassy lass knows the Porter canon and can deliver both fun and tears. On Apr. 1,20.
Leslie Orofino will also appear at the Beechman Theatre on Apr.8 at 1pm in Richard Skipper Celebrates! In this popular brunch show, the affable talents of Skipper leads a salute to lyricist, E.Y. "Yip" Harburg. He will be joined by Orofino, Karen Oberlin, Maureen Kelley Stewart, and a "special Well Known Mystery Guest."
Everybody loves Tony Danza and you have until April 1 to enjoy his singing, dancing, ukulele strumming and also some down-to-earth stories at Feinstein’s/54 Below. He may not be the world's greatest musician, singer or comic but he is a first class charmer and sell-out performer. Carole J. Bufford is pure perfection and her latest show, You Don’t Own Me: The Fearless Females of the 1960s, may well be another award winner. If you were there back in the day, you'll agree that this is a show not to be missed on Apr. 4, May 6, Jun. 12, July 6. Believe it or not (and this you will not believe), Marilyn Maye is celebrating her 89th birthday on Apr. 10 with her latest show, Carrying the Torch. Energy, joy and on-the-mark vocals, "Marvelous Maye" will continue celebrating on Apr. 12, and from Apr.18-23.
A bouquet of talent to hail the start of Spring.
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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.