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CurtainUp's
Cabaret Nights February 1, 2016

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An Annotated List of New York's Leading Cabaret Venues

It's February, the month of the first International Cabaret Festival presented by Cabaret Scenes Magazine from Feb. 17-21 in various clubs across town. The opening night Gala, February 17, will be held at the Metropolitan Room. Performing is Anita Gillette  as well as the newly-formed Cabaret Hall of Fame inductees,  Barbara Carroll, Andrea Marcovicci and Steve Ross. The Hall of Fame, created by the Metropolitan Room's Bernie Furshpan and Joseph Macchia, will be a highlight of the Gala. Its goal is to preserve the history and contributions of those fulfilling the promise of live entertainment in a cabaret setting. In the plans will be a cabaret section at the Library of Congress and a traveling display of cabaret memorabilia, including one of Julie Wilson’s boas. Besides the above mentioned, other 2016 inductees is Marilyn Maye  as well as the late Nancy LaMott, Bobby Short, Jan Wallman and Julie Wilson. Performances and video clips will be included in the Hall of Fame ceremony. You can check the rest of the festival schedule and also purchase your "Passport" to the various events at www.cabaretscenes.org.

Linda Lavin is a busy lady this winter. She just opened on Broadway in My Mother's Brief Affair and is taking two nights off on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 to perform at Birdland. Her cabaret show is called My First Farewell Concert, a personal story told through favorite songs from The Great American/Brazilian/Yiddish Songbook. She adds a special guest, New York's favorite droll violinist, Aaron Weinstein. Jazz singer Mary Foster Conklin appears at Birdland on Feb. 4, with stories flavored with jazz. On Feb. 7, Ann Hampton Callaway joins Marilyn Maye and look out! This musical powerball duo is coming your way in This is Cabaret! T. Oliver Reid invites you to Drop Me Off in Harlem where he'll introduce you to the jazziest uptown hot spots. (Feb. 8). Nicolas King, a young swinger that will bring you to your feet, returns to Birdland on Feb. 10 and the luscious voice of jazz singer Jane Monheit is featured from Feb. 11-14. It's always a treat to see the clever virtuosity of John Pizzarelli and he comes in with his quartet from Feb. 16-20. On Sun. Feb. 14, 21,18, Carol J. Bufford hosts the Birdland Jazz Party and every Saturday night, you can listen to the matchless piano playing of Barbara Carroll.

Midday Jazz Midtown at St. Peter's brings in Manhattan jazz bird, Marianne Solivan, on a Sunday evening at 5pm on Feb. 28. Back at the usual 1pm time, Daryl Sherman presents her ebullient jazz piano and vocals on Wed., Feb. 24, proving again why she is such a popular musician about town.

The original Sideshow sidekicks, Alice Ripley and Emily Skinner are Unattached! at 54 Below on Feb. 3-6. Chanteuse ne plus ultra, Liliane Montevecchi, invites you to Be My Valentine on Feb. 11-13. On Feb. 14, 54 Below offers Broadway Couples Sing 'I Do, I Do' celebrating the musical score by Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt. Performers include Chip Zien, Beth Leavel, Robert Cuccioli and Barbara Walsh. On Feb. 26,27, and March 4,5 peerless vocalist, Christine Andreas presents a new show, Cafe Society.

February is a short month with a lot to squeeze in.


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For information: esommer@curtainup.com

An Annotated List of 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.
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