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Cabaret Nights June 2013


An Annotated List of New York's Leading Cabaret Venues

June is Tony Award month and after one year, 54 Below continues presenting interesting Broadway stars on a cabaret stage. Move fast to get seats for Matthew Morrison ( South Pacific ) on June 1, 2, celebrating his upcoming CD Where It All Began. Also on June 1, the cast of Chicago, past and present, come down to revive all that jazz. With a Love Hangover, LaChanze ( The Color Purple ) sings the songs of Diana Ross. (June 2, 5, 6). Wry, powerhouse Faith Prince ( Guys and Dolls ) opens on June 3 with a look-back at her career. And that's not all, there comes the fabulous Judy Kuhn ( Passion ) with All This Happiness (June 10, 12) and Sherie Rene Scott ( Everyday Rapture ) returns with her acclaimed cabaret show, Piece of Meat, examining desire from all angles. From June 17 to 29. Norbert Leo Butz continues with his Memory and Mayhem on June 7, 8, 21, 22. Catch him if you can.

The Café Carlyle is ending its cabaret season with the vocal fireworks of Jersey Boys' John Lloyd Young from June 25 to 29. It's an encore performance after Young's smash earlier appearance this season. This charming young singer brings back some pop R&B musical memories to appreciative fans. From June 11 to 22, Rossano Sportiello with his trio salutes a legendary jazz musician with The Smiling Piano: A Tribute to the Artistry of George Shearing. Do you remember the last time you saw that irreverent observer of society and politics, Mort Sahl ? He will appear in the late show series at 10:45 on June 3, 6, 7. Incidentally, with The Great Gatsby now on the big screen, Will Friedwald and Sarna Lapine bring you an updated tuneful version called Tales from the Jazz Age: An F. Scott Fitzgerald Songbook. (June 13, 14, 20, 21 at 10:45pm). Included are Emily Bergl, Matthew Saldivar and Molly Pope evoking the irrepressible spirit of Fitzgerald's characters and their era. Vo-de-oh-do!

Who doesn't love a show-stopper, a memorable, once-in-a-lifetime spot when everything halts to acknowledge one performance. Bring in Julie Budd, the petite powerhouse, for two evenings of Show Stoppers at the Metropolitan Room on June 12, 13. You probably remember Don McLean's big hit '70's song, "American Pie," but Stephen Hanks goes Beyond American Pie: The Don McLean Songbook, (June 14, 22), to remind us of McLean's other worthwhile songs. On June 29, award winner, Jim Brochu ( Zero Hour ) salutes some of theaters' beloved performers who were never quite matinee idols. In his original show, Character Man, Brochu offers hilarious backstage and personal memories of character actors like Jack Gilford, Jackie Gleason, George S. Irving, and David Burns.

On Mondays June 10, 17, 24, Don't Tell Mama presents Teresa Fischer to convince us that it's Hip to Be Happy, which sounds like an upbeat way to start the week. This legendary night spot is still featuring the long-running Judy and Liza Together Again! with Tommy Femia and Rick Skye singing, joking and plain acting out Judy-and-Liza-style on June 8, 22. On Thursdays, Seth Rudetsky's Broadway Chatterbox invites the hottest artists to tell all, to him and to us.

Can you believe it's almost July? Make the moments last!

For information:

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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