Best Cabaret Shows in NYC This Week
Mosher is one of those talents you need to see to believe: warm, funny, biting, ferociously committed. In her biweekly series at the downstairs Birdland Theater, she invites a gaggle of performers from Broadway and beyond to show their talents. Guests at the May 21 edition include Adinah Alexander, Nicole Zuraitis, Jen Perry, Darien Crago and Daniel Plimpton, Lennie Watts, Grace Gramins, Bill McCarty and J. Ryan Carroll.
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."
An outrageously talented singer-actor in the vein of Taylor Mac, Brine takes different classic pop albums each month—from Joni Mitchell’s Blue to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack—and weaves their 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.
The lean, pretty, gender-defiant Nath Ann Carrera performs a collection of early story songs by Dolly Parton, many of them surprisingly dark.
The Tony-winning star of Jersey Boys, both the Broadway musical and the Clint Eastwood film, brings his musical highs and puppyish eyes back to Feinstein's/54 Below in a set of hit tunes from the '50s, '60s and '70s—including, surely, at least one by the Four Seasons.
Sitcom royal Mullally (Will & Grace) joins forces and blends voices with young actor-singer Hunt in the guise of a bespectacled folk duo called Nancy And Beth. Their debut Carlyle set will include selections from their self-titled debut album, which includes songs by Lou Rawls, Leiber and Stoller, Rufus Wainwright and Wynona Carr.
A demigod of the demimonde, Arias has entertained and scandalized the club world for decades with his fetish-drag getups, extravagant charisma, filthy patter and Billie Holiday stylings. In his latest Joe's set, he looks back on his storied career, backed by a five-piece band.
After leapfrogging to Broadway in Grease as the winner of a reality-TV casting series, versatile soprano Osnes has proved the snobs and cynics wrong in a succession of winsome turns in shows including including Bandstand, South Pacific and Cinderella; Broadway hoofer-actor-singer Yazbeck has brightened such revivals as Gypsy, A Chorus Line and On the Town. After teaing up for a sucessful double act last year, the two stars reunite for another evening of Great American Songbook fare.
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.
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.
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 May episode include Sondheim alums Sarah Rice, Hunter Ryan Herlicka, Teri Ralston as well as Carole J. Bufford, Samuel Buttery, Scott Coulter, Natalie Douglas, Stearns Matthews, Lucia Spina and Michael Winther.
Drag multihyphenate and old-school starlet Jinkx Monsoon reunites with her musical collaborator Major Scales for a manic night by the piano, at which they'll share songs from their forthcoming album and attempt to tame Jinkx's swings in mental stability.
As comfortable singing Tom Waits as she is singing Noël Coward, the winsomely natural yet richly emotional Mulder is one of the cabaret world's breakout successes of the past decade. Her latest set, featuring Jon Weber at the piano, focuses on songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The 92nd Street Y’s estimable Lyrics & Lyricists series devotes its the final evening of its current season to songs from the boob tube, including selections from televised musicals and concert shows as well as especially compelling theme songs. CBS Sonday Morning wag Mo Rocca leads a company that includes Christine Allado, Marcy Harriell, Paolo Montalban, David Turner and big-belting SNL almuna Ana Gasteyer; dancers from the Chase Brock Experience add variety-show pizzazz.
Thomas March curates and hosts this quarterly evening of poetry, storytelling and song. The theme for the April show is "Fresh," which should allow for a wide range of variations. The lineup includes poets Donika Kelly, Elizabeth Senja Spackman and Melissa Lozada-Oliva; singers Jordan Ho & Xavier; and comedians Kiko Soirée and Shane O'Neill. Drew Wutke mans the keys.
Justin Sayre, an avatar of retroqueer cultivation, hosts this seventh celebration of ultradiva Judy Garland in a benefit for the Ali Forney Center. The terrific lineup of guests includes Christine Andreas, Nathan Lee Graham, Brittain Ashford, Matt Doyle, Julian Fleisher, Molly Pope, Kat Cunning and Amber Martin. Peter James Cook directs, with Lance Horne as music director and Adam Fleming creating the dances. Friends of Dorothy should not miss it.
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.
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.
If you live in New York and haven't seen Catherine Cohen perform live...seek treatment. The 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.
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. The May show pays homage to Elvis Presley; upcoming subjects include Judy Garland (June 24) and Roberta Flack (July 29).