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Cabaret Nights August 2016
Step out of the heat and into Pompie's Place , at Pangea (178 Second Avenue). Here, Arthur Pomposello, long-time host of the Algonquin Hotel's famed Oak Room, escorts us back to the age of speakeasies and your finer swing joints with blues, swing and Broadway tunes. Thanks to a vibrant pianist, Ehud Asherie, and his top-notch arrangements, the music of Pompie's Place is as hot as the summer sidewalk. Featured are jazzy-bluesy songbirds Tanya Holt and Lezlie Harrison. You can visit Pompie's Place on Aug. 3 and 10. Aaron Weinstein returns to Pangea on Aug. 4, with Violinspiration. You can also catch dramatic soprano, Sarah Rice, delivering her romantic songbook with Music of the Night on Aug. 17, 18. Multi-talented Mark Nadler offers two shows on Aug. 20, at 7pm and 9:30pm and Stephen Hanks returns with his popular salute to songwriter, Don McLean: Storyteller, a sharp and entertaining evening, Aug. 26.
For a $10 suggested donation, refresh and relax at Midday Jazz Midtown in Saint Peter's Church. Two legendary guitarists, Bucky Pizzarelli and Ed Laub , face off on Aug. 3. The David White Jazz Orchestra follows on Aug. 10 and Aug. 17 brings in David Brian Charette's Organ Sextette. Jazz favorite, Sheila Jordan sings accompanied by Cameron Brown on bass, Aug. 24. Ending the month are David Hazeltine (piano) and Sean Smith (bass). It's a bargain and a New York treat on Wednesdays at 1pm.
Ain't We Go Fun! You will have fun for sure at the Metropolitan Room when film/Broadway/concert/cabaret singer, Carol Woods brings in her tribute to songwriter Richard Whiting on Monday nights, August 1,8,15,22,29. Pencil it in, she is a powerful performer. Funnyman, singer, oboist, Jason Graae is host and narrator of his show that was so successful last year, A Night At the Opera or "Opera To Die For. Where Opera and Cabaret Collide." (Aug. 9,11,12,14). Opera favorites and Graae's drollery are to die for. Another must-see is Jeff Harnar on Aug. 13 with The 1959 Songbook on July 12. 1959 was the year Jeff was born, but it was also the year of some of the greatest Broadway shows and Jeff weaves it all into a new show about life, love, and politics. Richard Holbrook presents Richard Holbrook Sings Rodgers With a Lot of Heart. One of the nicest guys in cabaret, Holbrook knows his music and appreciates his audience. On Aug. 24, don't miss the star-studded benefit for CabaretScenes, featuring many of cabaret's leading performers.
At the Laurie Beechman Theater, a cabaret salute goes to two of the genre's generous supporters, who also happen to be two gracious and knowledgeable music lovers, Adela and Larry Elow. For them, KT Sullivan and Eric Michael Gillette perform Isn't it Romantic! On Aug.10.
If you just want to kick back in a sophisticated spot with a cocktail and some music, lovely Kathleen Landis is playing the Cole Porter piano in the Waldorf Astoria's Peacock Alley from 5:30 to 7:30pm every Thursday this month. Take this opportunity to visit that legendary hotel before it is converted into condos, and enjoy one of the finest jazz and classical pianists in New York.
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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.