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CurtainUp's
Cabaret Nights Septembe 2015

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An Annotated List of New York's Leading Cabaret Venues

It's Autumn in New York when the Cafe Carlyle presents its September calendar. Tony Award-winner, Brian Stokes Mitchell, appears from Sept. 15-26 with Plays With Music, bringing his singular interpretations to theater songs, standards and jazz. On Sept. 29-Oct. 10, popular Buster Poindexter, aka David Johansen, , returns with his new show.

More good news for fans of live music. Birdland Jazz Club has announced the spring 2016 opening of The Birdland Theater. A new convertible 100-seat venue will occupy the lower level of Birdland Jazz Club to offer a wide range of programs, cabaret, jazz, dance, burlesque, comedy and more. We can expect more performances by Broadway stars and limited-run off-Broadway productions. While we wait for the new venue, there is much to enjoy at Birdland. On Sept. 7, the haunting voice of Darius de Haas brings us Something To Live For: Celebrating Strayhorn & More. On Sept. 20, 21, it's a Party of One with Christine Bianco. On Sept. 27, a musical lesson by two who know it best, This is Cabaret - With Ann Hampton Callaway and Special Guest Steve Tyrell. Popular Anita Gillette continues her look-back at her show-biz career and more, with As I Was Saying... This month, however, the Birdland sound is Bop and mixing and matching from Sept. 15 through 19 are The Royal Bopsters Project and Guests: Jon Hendricks, Annie Ross, Andy Bey, Bob Dorough, Sheila Jordan.

They did it last summer and this September, KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar return with Another Hundred People: KT Sullivan and Jeff Harnar Sing Sondheim: ACT II. On Sept. 8.15, 22. Sullivan and Harnar take a whole new look at different songs from the Sondheim canon.

54 Below is always intriguing and in September, they salute songwriters. On Sept. 8, NYFA Sings Ewalt, Walker, and Overcash. John Bucchino presents Grateful on Sept. 9. You can hear The Songs of Jeff Bowen on Sept. 21 and that same night, listen to The Songs of Will Van Due and Jeff Talbott. Melissa Errico brings along some fellow talented Yale grads for The Harvard-Yale Cantata on Sept. 8. Always popular, Linda Lavin is back at 54 Below on Sept. 7, 10,11,12 with Starting Over. Her special guest is a very special, very witty violinist, Aaron Weinstein . Will Swenson steps downstairs from his usual Broadway stages for a solo debut at 54 Below on Sept. 16-19. Multi-talented Grateful recently acclaimed in the York Theater production of Cagney, struts his stuff for one-night-only on Sept. 15. The same night, lovely Whitney Bashor remembers songs made famous by women singer/songwriters. On Sept. 29 and into October, Gabrielle Stravelli is an interpretative song stylist you should not miss. Circle it on your calendar.

Thinking of a romantic start to the fall season? My suggestion would be for the evocative jazz sounds by Nancy Harms and her new show Ellington by Night . At the Metropolitan Room on Sept. 1,6,9,16. Her name may be new to you but it's getting familiar around national and international jazz circles. On Sept. 3, you can catch California newcomers, “ Savannah Brown and Chase O'Donnell, Two Blondes, making their way through New York City. You already know Savannah's mom, Stacy Sullivan, who appears on Sept. 11, with her show, Since You've Asked. On Sept. 18, Joseph Macchia brings his popular benefit , Cabaret Cares, for Help Is On The Way Today for children living with HIV and AIDS in NYC.


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For information: esommer@curtainup.com

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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