Best Cabaret Shows in NYC This Week
Felder has made a career out of solo tributes to famous composers, including Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt and Leonard Bernstein. His latest is devoted to Great American Songbook legend Irving Berlin, the man behind such standards as "White Christmas," "Always" and "There's No Business Like Show Business." Trevor Hay directs.
Daniel Alexander Jones (Duat) inhabits his longtime alter ego, Jomama Jones—or does she inhabit him?—in a high-concept musical evening that reflects on a shattered mirror of black history. Jomama is a paradigm of R&B-diva grandeur circa 1982, with impeccable posture and elocution that bespeak an old-school black-star dignity. Although the original "Afromystical" songs don’t always rise to the occasion, it’s a pleasure to bask in Jones’s sequined, oracular presence, especially when Jones allows us to see the pain and labor behind the all-but-impervious diva’s self-fashioning.
The star of Broadway's Bubbling Brown Sugar, among other things, is a lithe and dynamic triple-threat performer, with a voice that roams magically from contralto depths to R&B peaks. Her new set honors the career and legacy of Lena Horne; songs include "A Fine Romance," "The Lady Is a Tramp" and, of course, "Stormy Weather."
Alt-cabaret siren Cion explores inner and outer spaces in a reprise her tribute to shape-shifting rock icon David Bowie.
Old-fashioned entertainer, booker and Don't Tell Mama papa Sidney Myer may be the most lovable man in New York cabaret. In this concert, presented by Tweed, he shares droll songs and occasional tugs of earned sentiment.
One of the world's great cabaret singers, England's 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 her recent frequent collaborator, musical director John McDaniel (The Rosie O'Donnell Show), to revisit and reinvent songs from 50 years ago, including "Born to Be Wild," "Everlasting Love" and "Revolution."
Lawrence revives his award-winning 2008 survey of queer-themed cabaret songs from the Weimar Era, including material by Friedrich Hollaender, Mischa Spoliansky and Rudolf Nelson. (The English translations are by Lawrence himself.) Performed in a period drag persona and sung without a microphone, the show is intimate, illuminating and surprisingly moving.
Accomplished piano songstress and theater composer Taub, whose wrote the score for the Public Works productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It, shares new material in her latest Joe's Pub set. Though her musicianship sometimes outstrips her lyrics, there's no doubt she's a rising talent.
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 costar of the underrated Broadway musical Rocky, Seibert a lovely voice and a soulful stage presence. At Joe's Pub she share songs from her new album, 77th Street, which includes original material as well as new takes on favroites from popular music (e.g. Joni Mitchell, Nirvana, Tears for Fears) and Broadway (e.g. Stephen Sondheim, Leonard Bernstein, Rodgers & Hammerstein).
Vernon is a rising musical-theater composer who has proven equally adept at capturing the sounds of 1970s glam rock (The View Upstairs) and modern Korean bubblegum (KPOP). In the first show of his three-month residency at Joe's Pub, he is joined by an impressive roster of guests, including Tonya Pinkins, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Annie Golden and Pose star MJ Rodriguez.
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.
Return to the East Village of yore at this charming variety night, hosted by all-star chanteuse Catherine Cohen and piano marvel Henry Koperski. Take your chance to see Cohen and her armada of all-star buddies for free while you still can.
The daring, hilarious, persona-shifting singer, who has previously taken on the oeuvres of Nico and Marianne Faithfull, blasted through the rock & roll canon of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards in her fall concert series at Pangea last year, devoting a show apiece to the Rolling Stones albums Beggars Banquet, Let It Bleed, Sticky Fingers and Exile on Main Street. Now she returns to cover the Stones' trippy 1967 venture Their Satanic Majesties Request.
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.
After going in deep with inventive cabarets on the lives of Andy Cohen, Anna Wintour and Martha Stewart, maverick character marauder Ryan Raftery crafts a totally bonkers Black Swan-level stage saga on the life of Calvin Klein and his "henchwoman" Donna Karen. Set to Fleetwood Mac, Ke$ha, Amy Winehouse and other favorites, this high-drama night promises to make hilarious madness out of the world's first lifestyle brand.
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 October edition has a Halloween theme, and features a guest appearance by the interpretive-dance duo the Side Effects.
After a Bush-whacking expedition in 2006's Bush Wars, musical satirist Nancy Holson now takes aim at Donald Trump in a continually evolving comic revue performed by a quick-changing cast of four.
Kate Baldwin broke through in 2009 as the enchanting star of Broadway’s Finian’s Rainbow, and has since brightened shows including Giant, Big Fish and the Broadway revival of Hello, Dolly! (for which she earned her second Tony nomination). Her latest solo set, directed by Robbie Rozelle, focuses on signature songs from her greatest roles.
The quintessential celebration of the Queen of Pop celebrates fifteen years of existence with a Halloween soiree. The night features a star-studded cast, including Tammy Faye Starlite, Amber Martin, Shanon Conley, Brian Charles Rooney and creator Cathy Cervenka, strutting its stuff to the tunes of the Material Band while you express yourself on the dance floor. Dress up in your best Madge-inspired or Halloween look to win prizes and attract the attentions of your lucky star.
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.
If you live in New York and haven't seen Catherine Cohen perform live...seek treatment. The singing, swinging comedy chanteuse had us mesmerized when she was singing in dive bars about boys; now armed with a full backing band at one of the city's best venues, Cohen is a total force of nature. She takes over Joe's Pub for a night of wickedly subversive musical comedy, fabulous looks and self-directed diva worship. She's joined by regular collaborator Henry Koperski at the keys. Not to be missed.
Since Peter Smith landed in Bushwick like a fallen angel, NYC's alt-comedy scene has elevated its standards to accommodate them. Though Smith's wheelhouse involves songs, stripteases, lip-syncs, dances, stand-up and even live beer-chugging, their performance always feels classic, with the natural prestige of an old-school 007 opening titles. At this special New York Comedy Festival showcase, they welcome you to their queer Land of Oz with songs, clips and sets. Now sit back...and be mesmerized!
The flirty, sly, dark-elfin Australian baritone departs from his Weimar-inflected signature set, Morphium Kabarett, for a Pride week salute to Aussie pop icon Kylie Minogue.
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 September episode include Annie Golden, Sarah Rice, Hunter Ryan Herlicka, Seth Sikes and the Marquee Five.
You might mistake her for a lost rodeo clown, but superstar drag artist Dina Martina is a unique and hilarious genius. She blends the traditional elements of a drag show—singing (sort of), dancing (in a way), jokes and stories (stream of consciousness)—into an intoxicating cocktail of demented glee. Her annual Christmas show features "overburdened costumes" and accompanist Chris Jeffries. The Dina experience is hard to describe and even harder to forget. Don't miss out.
Since 2014, brilliant stage sweetheart and total multihyphenate Lulu Krause has donned the guise of Louisa, a faded Broadway siren who still rules the Duplex stage. Along with pianist Frank Spitznagel, Louisa belts out classic numbers from her repertoire—all of which happen to be completely improvised off of audience suggestion. Witness the ageless marvel as she goes off-book and off the rails once again.
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.