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Cabaret Nights September 2016


Some people lament the passing of summer but I love September when everything seems to kick back into gear. The Cafe Carlyle season opens with multi-talented Laura Benanti,  from Sept. 27-Oct. 8. Benanti was nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Amalia Balash in Broadway's hit, She Loves Me.  She has appeared in TV shows like Nashville, The Good Wife and has been spotted in a smash TV portrayal as Melania Trump. I've seen her in previous cabaret shows showcasing a sharp wit and humorous anecdotes as well as a luminous voice.

Paula Dione Ingram brings Dark Legacy: Bright Lights of Black Broadway to the Metropolitan Room on Sept. 3. She'll be back in December. On Sept. 7, Jim Brochu, who had a long friendship with the late legendary Ethel Merman, talks about Merm with wit and charm and sings some of the timeless songs of her era in Merman and Me . Sounds a delightful show, one night only. You can always expect Billie Roe to present a show as sharp as she is. On Sept. 9, begins the first of three monthly shows, Billie Roe - Monopoly: Singing the lives from Baltic Avenue to Broadwalk, examining the people on the Monopoly game board and elsewhere. Tues. evenings continue At the Metropolitan Room with the great Annie Ross. The monthly series in this room, Stephen Hanks Presents New York Cabaret's Greatest Hits revisits Janice Hall on Sept. 13, with Grand Illusions: The Music of Marlene Dietrich. If you haven't seen Karen Oberlin's Bad Love, catch her musical savvy singing the many sides of Randy Newman's songbook (Sept. 14). On Sept 21, Julie Budd appears at the Metropolitan Room and the next day, they present This is Your Night, Lynn Di Menna, followed by a performance by T. Oliver Reid. Toward the end of the month, for a zest of Weill, Adrienne Haan will be singing the songs of Kurt Weill.

At Don't Tell Mama, let your hair down at Ricky Ritzel's Broadway (Sept. 15, ) and Lynn Henderson lets you know 'T'Ain't Nobody's Bizness If I Do on Sept. 8, 15. Tanya Moberly Sings Amy, Ani, Ricki, Joni on Sept. 7,16,30. If you're dining on Restaurant Row anyway, lend an ear to singer/songwriters Anya Turner and Robert Grusecki with Hello, West Forty-Sixth Street on Sept. 20. Micaela Leon brings intriguing international flair wherever she is appearing and she will be at DTM on Sept. 30. You might note that DTM holds a Broadway Boozy Brunch every Sunday. Two seatings, at noon and 2pm, and a cabaret show is included in the offering.

Sarah Rice sings Music of the Night at Pangea on Sept. 20, a concert of melodic vocals and her ethereal theremin. Pangea is an intimate East Village room with good food and a panoply of solid entertainment. Expect something new and different when Tammy Faye Starlite begins her weekly run of Tammy Faye Starlite Presents Holy War 2016: The New Regime on Sept. 16,23,30 and into October. Again the lovably versatile pianist/singer/actor/wit, Mark Nadler, offers two shows on Sept. 24, at 7pm and 9:30pm.

Together for the first time since 2007, Mark Nadler joins KT Sullivan at the Laurie Beechman Theater to celebrate their longtime friendship with a new show, You Haven't Changed at All. on Sept. 30. For a good-time musical evening, get to the Laurie Beechman on the double for Double Take with Sally Mayes and Jeff Harnar on Sept. 7,14,21,28 and Oct. 20.

The cabaret world bid some sad good-byes in August to Russ Weatherford, a generous, outgoing man-about-town seen with camera in hand taking photographs. Also we are mourning is the death of the generous, intelligent Barbara Leavy, teacher, writer, friend, and wife of Peter Leavy, publisher of Cabaret Scenes.

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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 2016, Elyse Sommer.
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