Best Cabaret Shows in NYC This Week
Vivacious comic songwriter Di Carlo, of the recurring Mad Men spoof The Mad World of Miss Hathaway, shares original and sometimes naughty songs in various styles in her monthly set. The July edition, celebrating the show's fourth anniversary, features Kyle Forester at the keys.
The astonishing, totally fearless Bridget Everett has had a bona fide breakout year in film (Patti Cakes) and TV (Lady Dynamite), culminating in the pilot of an Amazon series of her very own, the endearingly raunchy Love You Too. The towering sex goddess's triumphant set at her usual stomping grounds, Joe's Pub, finds her belting and oversharing as only she can, and she never fails to shake up the room with hits like "Boob Song." Not to be missed.
Alt-cabaret siren Cion explores inner and outer spaces in tribute to shape-shifting rock icon David Bowie. Proceeds from this special edition, which celebrates Cion's 50th birthday, benefit NARAL Pro-Choice America; guest artists include Amanda Duarte, David Cale, Jeremy Bass, Rembert Block, Amy Priya Santos, Joe Hurley and Dylan Sorenson.
Ever since 1984's Vampire Lesbians of Sodom, Charles Busch has been working toward the title of First Lady of the American Stage, delivering hilariously nuanced portraits of defiant yet vulnerable women, in the style of the great film stars of the 1940s. In his return to Feinstein's/54 Below, he sets drag aside to continue his side career as a cabaret chanteur. This latest collection is devoted to pop and Broadway music from his formative professional years, including songs by the Jim Croce, Rupert Holmes, Michel Legrand and Stephen Sondheim.
Ackerman makes her solo cabaret debut with an autobiographical set that approaches pop and musical-theater favorites from a "body paws-itive" perspective. Kristin Rose Kelly directs, and Brandon James Gwinn is at the keys.
Singer-actor Tori Scott mixes classic musical-comedy warmth with a killer range. Armed with smart, saucy patter, she comes off as the best wild friend that a frazzled gay city boy could hope to find. Her latest show features songs by Pink, Queen, Edith Piaf, Lady Gaga and more.
The stars of the original Off Broadway production of The Last Five Years, having gone on to major Broadway careers, reunite for a nightclub set. Scott is a blond bombshell with a paradoxical flair for understatement, a reticent power that reached its apex in her 2010 Broadway showcase, Everyday Rapture; Butz has an unlikely but winning combination of everyday guyness and star magnetism. In addition to The Last Five Years, the two have also shared the stage in Rent and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and both are highly accomplished nightclub performers, so this should be a doozy. Todd Almond is the musical director.
Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her weekly series at the downstairs Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the July 16 edition include Hayley Podshun, Laura Woyasz, Kira Goidel and Alex Frondelli, David LaMarr and Darnell White, Harrison Greenbaum, Jennifer Pace and Gary Pace, Daniel Dunlow, Lauren Tyler Scott, Elizabeth Webb and Joshua Turchin.
In her monthly Tributes series, MAC Award collector Douglas has previously plumbed the catalogs of Nina Simone, Stevie Wonder, Lena Horne, Abbey Lincoln, Shirley Bassey, Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Cher among many others. Upcoming subjects include Roberta Flack (July 29).
One of the world's great cabaret singers, England's Barb Jungr is a genuine original, deploying warmth, high drama and sensitive musicality to reinvent everything she sings. Her supple and versatile voice glows like a hearth on a winter’s day, and her emotional intelligence is faultless: She knows just how a song should feel. In her latest set, she teams up with musical director John McDaniel (The Rosie O'Donnell Show) to explore the oeuvre of Police man turned solo superstar Sting.
Learn how to make love like a legend at this mesmerizing musical comedy/TED Talk hybrid, led by maverick author/"sexual evangelist" Dr. Alex Schiller (the alter ego of the brilliant Roslyn Hart). Through a series of hilarious and consent-affirming gauntlets, the good doctor will shake audience members out of romantic complacency. Live band performances of sexy songs will get you and your table of strangers feeling curious. And If you're not ready to face your fears of flirting onstage, be sure to select a "voyeur" ticket. But if you're ready to go big, the "participant" option will make you feel like you can breathe fire. Be sure to bring your A-game for a lit, highly-charged afterparty, and grab a copy of the real-life Never Sleep Alone book for life-changing tips on loving yourself so that everyone will want you.
The exceedingly charming star chanteuse and Club Cumming cult favorite takes over Joe's Pub once again for a night of songs and stories. James Sheppard leads the back-up band.
Liza Minnelli gets the lion's share of public attention, but Judy Garland's other singing daughter is an accomplished performer as well, with a voice that sometimes eerily recalls that of her legendary mom. In her return to Feinstein's/54 Below, she shares favorites from the Great American Songbook.
After originating the web-singing title role in Broadway's ill-fated Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, Carney has gone on to star as Dorian Gray in Penny Dreadful and has recently swung back onto Broadway as Orpheus in Hadestown. Now he brings his otherworldly tenor to the Green Room 42 with a solo show that includes some standards but focuses on original songs from his 2016 album, Youth Is Wasted.
Broadway by the Year impresario Scott Siegel curates this monthly concert series, in which Broadway stars sing some of the Great White Way's best-loved tunes.
Theater elf Sikes, best known as an assistant director, takes the stage himself for a nervy evening of Judy Garland stories and songs (including some in the original key), backed by a terrific band.
He’s worked with Liza Minnelli, Kylie Minogue and just about every downtown act in NYC. Now composer, pianist and performer Lance Horne hosts his own wild night of singing, drinking and dancing, strip-teasing and bad behavior at the East Village nightlife hub Club Cumming. Expect advanced show-tune geekery and appearances by Broadway stars looking to get down by the piano. Plan on sleeping in on Tuesday.
Part cabaret, part piano bar and part social set, Cast Party offers a chance to hear rising and established talents step up to the microphone (backed by the slap and tickle of Steve Doyle on bass and Billy Stritch at the ivories, plus the bang of Daniel Glass on drums). The waggish Caruso presides as host.
A Barry Manilow concert is a cheese-fondue set: a gift to those with a taste for music that is gooey, savory and strongly evocative of the ’70s. As he showed in his two-month Broadway run in 2013, the Brooklyn-born singer's voice remains pleasingly strong and familiar, and the songs have an elemental sentimental appeal that transcends kitsch. Dip your fork in and enjoy.
Rivera came to New York in the early 1950s, and the rest is razzle-dazzle history: starring roles in the original casts of West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie and Chicago; 10 Tony nominations (including two wins); the 2002 Kennedy Center Honors. She’s often called a legend, but she's very much real—and, at 86, still firmly in command of her talents.
Ruffelle has a place of her own in the hearts of musical-theater fans for her performance as sacrificial waif Éponine in the original London and Broadway casts of Les Misérables. Having recently relocated to New York City, she returns to the nightclub stage with a charmingly game and gamine monthly set at the Green Room 42.
Once was enough for many people to fall in love with Cristin Milioti, became nationally known as the finally-revealed title character on How I Met Your Mother—but some of us had been mooning over her for years. One of the city's finest young actors, she cuts to the heart with raw nerves and fierce nerve. Tonight she shares original songs and a handful of covers, accompanying herself at the piano.
Talented singers from the Broadway and cabaret worlds sing side by side in this tribute to the master of musical theater that has often featured former cast members of Sondheim shows. Guests at the June 30 episode include Sondheim alums Sarah Rice, Liz McCartney and Sally Mayes as well as Karen Mack, Keira Moynahan, Megan Moynahan, Kelli Rabke, Marta Sanders, Lucia Spina and Marquee Five.
Cabaret masters KT Sullivan and Steve Ross bring decades of wit, sophistication and musical expertise to this selection of writings by the peerless English songwriter, playwright and smoking-jacket enthusiast Noël Coward. Assembled by Barry Day and directed by the Irish Rep's Charlotte Moore, the show touches on Coward's relationships with such notable personages as Marlene Dietrich, Greta Garbo, Elaine Stritch, Virginia Woolf and the Queen Mum.