Best Cabaret Shows in NYC This Week
Best known for his Broadway star turn as Franki Valli in Jersey Boys, Longoria applies soaring vocals to yuletide faves in a show that celebrates the release of his latest album, Merry Christmas Darling. Expect chestnuts like "Sleigh Ride" and "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" along with rarer selections, including one original song.
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.
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.
After hitting venues all over town with his eponymous shows Ike By Chance, Inspector Ike and Ike at Night, the ingeniously funny Ikechukwu Ufomadu returns to Joe's Pub for his tuxedo-clad winter special. Ufomadu's droll, murmuring delivery—delivered with a confidence as big as all outdoors—leaves audiences in a haze of laughter.
A Fabergé radical—beautiful, ridiculous and full of hidden tricks—the sublimely freakish Mac pilots audiences through fantastical journeys, guided by the compass of his magnetic individuality. In the culmination of a five-year project, the writer-performer recently surveyed the past 250 years of American music in a 24-hour marathon that was immediately hailed as a history-making event in and of itself. At the Town Hall, with help from costume designer Machine Dazzle and music director Matt Ray, the 2017 MacArthur Fellow sleighs it with Christmas songs.
Best known for his whiskey-voiced wedding-singer renditions of standards in the Father of the Bride films, Tyrell brings his mix of Texas and Vegas back to the Carlyle for his 14th straight year. This year's holiday set includes selections from his albums Back to Bacharach and A Song for You along with Great American Songbook standards, including his trademark tunes.
This charming and cheekily named singing string quartet has been honing its craft all over the world for years. Tonight, the fitter-than-fiddles boys take their bows to holiday favorites, including "Silent Night," "Sleigh Ride" and "Hard Candy Christmas."
The tenth annual edition of Urban Stages's cabaret festival comprises 22 shows, including sets devoted to Johnny Mercer, Madeline Kahn, Bea Lillie, Czechoslovak soprano Jarmila Novotná and the concept of hope. The starry December 17 performance, a celebration of Britwit Noël Coward, features Jim Dale, Jim Naughton, Jeff Harnar, Edward Hibbert, Simon Jones, Sidney Myer, Marissa Mulder, KT Sullivan, Eric Comstock and Coward lionizer Barry Day.
Pangea a great place to be on Wednesdays, when Brine performs his weekly Spectacular Living Record Collection Cabaret. An outrageously talented singer-actor in the vein of Taylor Mac, Brine takes a different classic pop album each month—from Joni Mitchell’s Blue to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack—and weaves its songs into funny, perceptive tapestries of storytelling. The show is highly addictive: Once you’ve been dunked into Brine, you’ll want to dive back in every month. The latest edition, directed by Andrew Neisler, is a mash-up of Laura Nyro’s Eli and the Thirteenth Confession and the world of Ancient Rome.
Supreme stage siren Justin Vivian Bond has developed a cult of fans who don't miss the annual holiday show—a classic cabaret blowout featuring songbook favorites, queer protest and meandering musings from the singular mind of JVB. Look sharp and look up: you're about to see the very best act in town.
Best known for her six-year stint on Saturday Night Live and manic appearances on Lady Dynamite, Suburgatory and People of Earth, Ana Gasteyer has also had a successful stage career on Broadway and elsewhere, including a run as Wicked's Elphaba and a cabaret show, I'm Hip, at the Cafe Carlyle. In this Christmas nightclub set, she decks the halls with classic ditties including "Baby, It's Cold Outside," "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" and "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch."
When the clock strikes midnight at the McKittrick on Fridays, the club kids take over. Enter the sublime nightlife fantasy of downtown icon Susanne Bartsch, at which she welcomes circus performers, drag divas, burlesque stars and beyond to unleash their most avant-garde creations onstage. She's joined by a rotating cast that includes Joey Arias, Amanda Lepore, Shequida, Murray Hill, Dirty Martini and Perle Noire.
Alt-cabaret siren Cion explores inner and outer spaces in a reprise her tribute to shape-shifting rock icon David Bowie.
Her monumental performance in the people's opera Caroline, or Change earned Tonya Pinkins a place in musical-theater history, but it was no one-off, as those who saw her in Jelly's Last Jam, Play On! or The Wild Party can attest. When she's onstage, attention must be paid. Tonight she joins pianist and singer Brad Simmons to celebrate the holiday season.
Who says nice guys finish last? Broadway leading man Norm Lewis exudes amiability, but that hasn't stoppped him from a long career that has included stints in Porgy and Bess, Les Misérables, Side Show and Chicago; in 2014, he became the first African-American to play the Phantom on Broadway. In his annual Christmas set at Feinstein's/54 Below, he welcomes audiences to enjoy holiday favorites, warmed by the hearth of his voice.
Ross uses his polish and comic timing to conjure a vanished world of cultivated manners and deftly witty lyrics, but with a wistfulness that gives his work a moving third dimension. In his latest return to Birdland, he shares songs that celebrate human connection, including selections from his latest album, It's Almost Christmas Eve.
New York’s stalwart drag king, Murray “Mr. Showbiz” Hill, brings his rollicking year-end celebration—one of the highlights of the season, just like your drunk uncle—to Joe's Pub with burlesque titillation, musical mayhem and comedic mirth. Guests include Bridget Everett, Angie Pontani, Carmine Covelli, Nik Baker and others.
The Pops snap and crackle through their annual evening of holiday-season orchestral delight. This year's guest vocalist is erstwhile Mary Poppins star Ashley Brown. Steven Reineke wields the baton.
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. Performers at the October edition include Emily Janes, John Easterlin, Joshua Israel, William Michals, Kelsey Lee Smith, Michael Winther and Time Out's own Adam Feldman.
The Divine Sandra's best work gives pop culture a big, sloppy kiss, while simultaneously biting it on the lip. Her annual year-capping residency at Joe’s Pub blends irony, wistfulness, sentiment and tongue-in-cheek (or are they?) rock songs. This year's edition, backed by the Sandyland Squad Band, promises "a brief respite from the endless madness" of the ever more stressful news of the world.
When Forbidden Broadway alum Christine Pedi draws from her deep reservoir of celebrity vocal impressions, she shines brightly as a star in her own right. This month, she roasts holiday chestnuts by Liza Minnelli, Ethel Merman, Julie Andrews and more; her astonishing “12 Divas of Christmas” alone is worth the price of admission.
Award-winning chanteuse Douglas warms the Duplex with her big voice in her annual two-part New Year’s cabaret show with musical director Mark Hartman. (Both sets include a champagne toast.)