In an age of globalism, cabaret is a fundamentally local art: a private concert in an intimate nightclub, where music and storytelling merge at close range. And no city offers as wide a range of thrilling cabaret artists as New York City, from Broadway and pop legends like Patti LuPone and Debbie Harry to outrageous downtown provocateurs like Bridget Everett and Taylor Mac, drag stars like Alaska and Dina Martina and world-class interpreters like Barb Jungr and Meow Meow. Here's where to find the best of them this week.
The best cabaret shows in NYC this week
Get up close and personal with the best nightclub singers in New York every week at Gotham's best cabaret shows
Best Cabaret Shows in NYC This Week
After six weeks in Brooklyn, Mister Dusty Rose's weekly queer-flavored variety show moves to the theater district for an open-ended run on Thursday nights. A range of guest artists from the worlds of circus, magic and cabaret join the evening's resident performers: Sam Urdang, Jack Blackmon, Melissa Anderson and the camptastic and charismatic actor-singer Amy Jo Jackson. The show is staged immersively in a speakeasy-style space, and a full dinner menu is available. Starting Sept 7, the show will move to the Upper West Side's Triad Theatre and increase its performance schedule.
During the shutdown, the ebullient Broadway actor-singer Todd Buonopane (Cinderella) kept home audiences entertained with a popular series of monologues and musical numbers delivered from his shower. Now he steps out from behind the curtain with a collection of songs made famous by the great ladies of Broadway. The show is a delight from beginning to end: sweet, joyful, very well sung and ultimately moving.
This annual summer concert series brings Broadway actors and composers to the Times Square pedestrian plazas to perform their own original music. The tradition continues this year with performers from shows like Anastasia, Company, Oklahoma, Next to Normal, SpongeBob SquarePants and many more, with Ben Cameron as their affable host. If you can't make it in person, you can watch it live on Youtube: July 30: Austen Bohmer/Plain Austen, Ryan Scott OliverAugust 6: Sky-Pony (Kyle Jarrow and Lauren Worsham), Starbird & the Phoenix (Courtney Bassett and Andrew Swackhamer)August 13: Dru Serkes, Christian Thompson, Jaime CeperoAugust 20: Masi Asare, Joel WaggonerAugust 27: Damon Duanno, Rona SiddiquiSeptember 3: Jen Sánchez, baby chemistSeptember 10: Jasmine Forsberg, Matt Doyle & Will Van DykeSeptember 17: Ethan Slater, J. Robert SpencerSeptember 24: Christy Altomare, Jerusha CavazosOctober 1: Zack Zadek, Alice Lee, Nora Schell
Gutsy musical-theater neodiva Natalie Joy Johnson (Kinky Boots) and piano wizard Brian Nash get inon the ground floor of the newly opened LGBTQ entertainment complex Q to swirl their considerable talents into a a free weekly show on Saturday nights. Expect a campy, wigged-out bonanza of showbiz excess.
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 Amazonian burlesque artist Tallulah Talons hosts this monthly retro variety show that combines live singing with old-school striptease. Each show features three guest artists; audiences are invited to stick around at Sid Gold's afterward for live karaoke with the show's pianist, Wendy Ip.
Caustic wit, witchy charisma and subversive queer wisdom have made Justin Vivian Bond one of New York’s essential performers: part den parent, part cultural assassin, part offhand Cassandra. In this two-week theatrical concert run at St. Ann's Warehouse, Bond teams up with star countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo—who memorably played Pharaoh Amenhotep IV in Phillip Glass's Akhnaten at the Met—for a trans-genre night that explores the queer histories and futures of opera, pop music and cabaret. The set list runs from “Dido’s Lament” to Dido’s “White Flag” and from Akhnaten to “Walk Like an Egyptian.”
Broadway leading lady Christine Andreas could coast on her pure, silvery soprano, but she’s also a strong storyteller who knows how to dip beneath the pretty surfaces. This collection of hopeful material—which includes songs by Rodgers and Hammerstein, Leonard Bernstein, Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen and John Lennon—features a guest spot by Italian tenor Marco Romano.
Two rapidly rising stars of the musical-theater universe—the huge-voiced Bonnie Milligan, who made a triumphant Broadway debut in Head Over Heels, and the writer, performer and charisma machine Natalie Walker (Alice by Heart)—follow up on their much-buzzed-about 2019 debut concert, Bonnie Milligan and Natalie Walker Were Always Supposed to Do a Show on September 6th and Have Been Planning It For Months. Expect big belting and show-tune-nerd mayhem.