last updated
Friday, 30-Jan-04 12:40:35 EST

Late News from the Cabaret World

Here is a recent CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE message sent to over 1350 readers of this free e-mail newsletter. Check at the bottom of the message for the way you can have a free subscription.

CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE #000106 - Thursday, January 14, 2000
Since 1990 Your Best Source of Cabaret News


They are predicting snow here in NYC today - all we have had so far this winter is a flew flurries - lasting minutes at the most. And right now the temperature is still well above freezing, so anything that does make it to the ground will melt quickly. Not that I love snow - I just miss it a little bit.

After the holiday break, and post-holiday lull, things cabaret are perking up once again here in NYC. THE FIREBIRD CAFE - Erv Raible, Booking Manager (363 West 46th Street, NYC - 212-586-0244) is back with full time cabaret - still dark on Mondays and Tuesdays but Sundays now feature the ASCAP Songwriters' series, and two shows a night booked 5 days of the week. It appears that Erv Raible is having difficulty booking top names since the FIREBIRD has switched to paying many acts based on the cover rather than for a fee. In fact, it appears that many of the old EIGHTY EIGHT'S regulars (and even a few unknowns) are getting bookings in this room - but at FIREBIRD prices! The MAC folks are going to be hard pressed to decide if performers in this room should or should not be considered for the "Major" category in setting up next year's ballot!

Meantime, THE OAK ROOM at the Algonquin Hotel (59 West 44th Street, NYC - 212-840-6800) has cut back its schedule, at least for the next few months, with Claiborne Cary opening there tonight with shows just three nights a week - one show only on Thursday, two shows each on Fridays and Saturdays. We might see the ALGONQUIN renting out its space the other nights of the week - as it has done with some Sundays and Mondays in the past. Of course, this will mean that a booking at the ALGONQUIN will have less prestige - and the ALGONQUIN will have a more difficult time booking the top acts.

FEINSTEIN'S at the Regency Hotel (540 Park Avenue, NYC - 212-759-4100) starts its new year with the John Pizzarelli Trio moving in on Tuesday the 18th, and John's dad, Bucky Pizzarelli joining the trio, with the show running through Valentine's day. Actually, FEINSTEIN'S is benefitting from the reduced schedule at the ALGONQUIN, since Pizzarelli normally plays at the older club, but could not afford to play at the reduced schedule rate.

Another major room to benefit is ARCI'S PLACE (450 Park Avenue South, NYC - 212-532-4370), which now has another former ALGONQUIN regular, Wesla Whitfield, opening on Tuesday, the 18th, running through February 12th. ARCI'S schedule is the same as FEINSTEIN'S - Tuesday through Saturday, with two shows on Friday and Saturday nights only.

Eartha Kit is currently at THE CAFE CARLYLE (Madison Avenue at 76th Street, NYC - 212-744-1600), which continues its policy of two shows a night, Tuesdays through Saturdays - but by booking only the very best (Bobby Short, Barbara Cook, Betty Buckley), the CARLYLE continues to sell out most nights.

JOE'S PUB (425 Lafayette Street, NYC - 212-260-2400) meantime is presenting cabaret only a few nights a month, alternating with disco nights, and other performance events. Their next cabaret event is "All Girl Band - The Songs of David Zippel," featuring Randy Graff, Debbie Gravitte, and Adriane Lenox on Monday, the 17th.

All the above rooms continue to place advertising in NYC newspapers and magazines, supporting their performers with mailings and press releases as well.

THE WEST BANK CAFE/LAURIE BEECHMAN THEATER (407 West 42nd Street, NYC - 212-659-6909) rents its space - they really don't book acts, per se. The performer takes the whole risk, but keeps the cover. The club insists on a one-drink minimum, and provides a wait staff. It provides no advertising, mailings or press releases.

Nearly all the other NYC cabaret clubs book acts, with the performer keeping most of the cover charge (the club takes a small amount, which varies from club to club) and provides the lights/sound technician and wait staff. The clubs usually do no advertising, but send schedule listings to the area magazines and newspapers covering cabaret, and usually will assist a performer by providing addresses of reviewers for the performer to possibly contact with a press release. Fliers, mailings, advertising, publicity, etc. are the responsibility of the performer. The club handles taking reservations, and will collect the cover as part of the drink/food bill. They usually require a 2-drink or $10 food/drink minimum.

Clubs with these policies include DANNY'S SKYLIGHT ROOM - Don Schaffer, Booking Manager (346 West 46th Street, NYC - 212-265-8133), DON'T TELL MAMA - Sidney Myer, Booking Manager (343 West 46th Street, NYC - 212-757-0788), THE DUPLEX - Wendy Rohan, Booking Manager (61 Christopher Street, NYC - 212-255-5438), JUDY'S CHELSEA - Richard Hendrickson, Booking Manager (169 Eighth Avenue, NYC - 212-929-5410), THE TRIAD (??) (158 West 72nd Street, NYC - 212-799-4599) and UPSTAIRS AT ROSE'S TURN - Collette Black, Booking Manager (55 Grove Street, NYC - 212-366-5438). Please check with the booking managers for exact booking details and policies.

These clubs book a variety of acts, from major and semi-major cabaret performers to so called "family & friends" acts. They are great places to catch new and rising cabaret acts, and actually provide a training and testing ground for folks who eventually wind up in the "major" clubs. In fact, they remain among my favorite places to see cabaret - I have a passion for seeing new and undiscovered talent.


SPECIAL NOTE: MAC HAS EXTENDED APPLICATION DEADLINE! - MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs) was a little late getting out the rules and application blanks for this year's MAC Awards Celebration, to be held on Sunday, April 9th at TOWN HALL (123 West 43rd Street, NYC). Applications originally were supposed to be received by Monday, January 17th - but that is a holiday, so the folks at MAC have extended the deadline an additional week.

Applications MUST BE RECEIVED BY JANUARY 24, 2000 to be considered. Extra copies of the application forms are also available from MAC member clubs - call the booking manager to make sure they have them.

So, to everyone who feels that their 1999 show, CD or song merits a MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets & Clubs) Award, in order to win it, you have to be in it! You MUST apply for the award by filling out a special application blank. MAC members in good standing can apply for free, non-MAC members need to enclose a $25 application fee.

All the rules for the various categories are posted on my website - just check out:

MAC AWARD DEFINITIONS

I have also posted a copy of the official MAC AWARD application blank - just check out:

MAC AWARD APPLICATION

Remember: This year in most instances there will be NO preliminary screening of nominees. This means that if you apply, YOU WILL BE INCLUDED on the preliminary ballot sent to all members. When this ballot is tallied, the top 3 (4 in case of tie) in each category will be considered MAC Award nominees, and will be voted on my MAC members on the final ballot.


And, while I am announcing things being extended, you have one additional chance to catch Go Mahan's fantastic show at JUDY'S CHELSEA (169 Eighth Avenue, NYC - 212-929-5410) - there has been a performance added on Friday, January 14th, at 11:00 pm. I saw this show again last week, and once again found it to be astonishing! The show is more of an experience than a performance - original music, bits of poetry, and the show is a unique addition to the cabaret scene. The vocals are hypnotic, and the musical arrangements (by Peter Kiesewalter) are inspired!


Highlight for me of the ASCAP Songwriters Press Preview at THE FIREBIRD CAFE (363 West 46th Street, NYC - 212-586-0244) for me was an appearance of Christine Lavin - wearing a special pin signifying that she had seen the wildly funny "DAME EDNA - The Royal Tour" at the BOOTH THEATRE (222 West 45th Street, NYC - Tele-Charge 212-239-6200) seven times! (I am extremely jealous!) By the way, cabaret's Mark Nadler is currently musical director of this show, and appears on stage along with the gorgeous "Ednaettes." Mark will be resuming his shows at SARDI'S (234 West 44th Street, NYC - 212-221-8440) on Saturday, February 5th at 10:30 pm. Thank you, Georga Osborne, for introducing me to the fabulous songs of Christine Lavin!

How is that for getting a bunch of performers you love all loaded into a single paragraph!

Anyhow, songwriter Steven Lutvak opens the Sunday night ASCAP / FIREBIRD songwriters series produced by Michael Kerker this coming Sunday, January 16th at 7:00 pm. Steven is also appearing on the 23rd. Others performing and appearing in this series include Marcy Heisler & Zina Goldrich, Carol Hall, Francesca Blumenthal, Christine Lavin, Marilyn Volpe and Craig Carnelia.


Don't forget to reserve Monday, February 28, 2000 - that's the night of the fabulous BACK STAGE Bistro Awards - held again at the elegant SUPPER CLUB (240 West 47th Street, NYC - 212-921-1940). Invitations for the show are going out in a few days - and then leftover tickets will be sold to the public. This is the best cabaret awards show each year, since the winners of the awards actually are asked to perform in the show! This year will be extra special for CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE fans - stay tuned.

By the way, David Finkle, who has written for the VILLAGE VOICE and other publications, has been named to replace Roy Sanders as co-writer of the BACK STAGE Bistro Bits column, along with John Hoglund. I spoke briefly with David last night at newcomer Jenny Brown's delightful show at DON'T TELL MAMA, and I know we all will be seeing a lot more of this great writer in the months ahead. David is a former cabaret performer, and an avid cabaret lover.


Rick Crom's "Our Life & Times 2000," moves to CAROLINES (1626 Broadway, NYC - 212-757-4100) for 5 Sundays starting January 16, running through February 13th. It's all the news that's fit to sing about, including the missing Mars probe ("Mars Kids"), Al Gore's image makeover ("My Robot"), and Hilary's move to NY State ("Have I Ever Mentioned That I'm Jewish" and "White House Home Alone") - over 20 songs in all. Directed by Collette Black, the MAC & BISTRO Award winning show features Hector Coris, Michael Macaione, Steve Wertz and Stephanie Kurtzuba, with John McMahon as musical director. The show actually changes along with the headlines - so you might even consider booking reservations for more than one performance!


Rick Crom is currently appearing in the Broadway show FOOTLOOSE, and I just received word from Eileen Barnett, who is currently starring in the national tour of the same show. Eileen will be appearing at DAVENPORT'S (1383 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, IL - 773-278-1830) on Wednesday, January 26th and Thursday, January 27th at 11:00 pm, after her performance of "Footloose" at the SHUBERT THEATRE. Her musical director will be Lon Hoyt, the assistant conductor of the national tour.


Kate Peters fans will be sorry to hear that she had to cancel her engagement at THE CINEGRILL (7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA - 323-466-7000) on January 21st and 22nd. Her drummer, Steve Dixon, has had some emergency surgery and is out of commission for a while. Irina Maleeva will be performing on those nights instead.


Here's a last minute note received yesterday ...

>>>>>>>

Dear Mr. Hamstra:

First of all, let me say that I thoroughly enjoy your Cabaret Hotline web page. I am relatively new to the "cabaret" world and your web page provides me with an immense amount of important information so I thank you.

I would like to invite you to the "revue" I am currently involved in: THREE BROADS SINGING TO BEAT THE BLUES which is being presented by Frank Calo Spotlight On Productions. The show was originally produced by the SAGE THEATRE in February and then Journey Productions produced the show in September and October at THE DUPLEX. In November, we took the show to the CHESTNUT FINE ARTS CENTER in Olathe, KS (outside Kansas City) and now we open the SPOTLIGHT ON FESTIVAL at RAW SPACE - Studio "L" (529 W. 42nd Street, NYC (Smarttix: 212-532-8887). The theatre is not a cabaret setting but the show kind of lives in both the theatrical and cabaret worlds. Performances are on Thursday, January 13th (Tickets: $20 including reception) at 8:00 pm and on Friday, January 14th (Tickets: $10) at 10:00 pm.

Thanks so much!

Teresa Fischer


Please remember, I no longer send out the "Stu's Cabaret Picks" via e-mail, but the picks are now posted on my website at:

STU'S CABARET PICKS

And, since this is an on-line web page, I will be adding new shows and cabaret events as they are brought to my attention, and adding days to the list as the month progresses. This means that it would be a good idea to check the "PICKS" page every few days, to see what has been changed, added or deleted.

Also, if you want to check on new pages added to the website, just look at the "Cabaret In The News" page, updated almost daily. I also post news items and pages of unique interest not covered by the other pages of the website here.

CABARET IN THE NEWS


Steven Brinberg, whose show "Simply Barbra 2000" at the DOMINION THEATRE (428 Lafayette Street, NYC - 212-473-1698) this weekend were cancelled, is the subject of an article by Peter Haas in this month's CABARET SCENES magazine.

This issue also attempts to spotlight the cabaret performers who have contributed to the art of cabaret over the years, but omits such cabaret stalwarts as Sylvia Syms, Felicia Sanders, Alberta Hunter, Barbra Streisand, Harry Connick, Jr., Judy Kreston & David Lahm, Judy Barnett, Phyliss Pastore, Steve Hayes, Helen Baldassare, Kristine Zbornik and Margaret Wright. And doesn't anyone remember Bruce Hopkins, Danny Apolinar and Charles deForest anymore? Where are Miss Coco, Lipsynka, Varla Jean Merman, Charles Bush and Ruby Rims? The list also completely ignores musical directors like Dick Gallagher, Bobby Peaco, Rick Jensen, Bill Wright, William Roy, Wally Harper, Paul Trueblood, etc.! I could go on.

At the same time the list appears to include several performers whose main contribution to cabaret was quite possibly the fact that they placed an advertisement in CABARET SCENES magazine!

Of course, in the creating of any such list, it is difficult to avoid omissions, but some of the names I have listed are cabaret icons!


Another reminder to folks in the Las Angeles area:

CABARET WEST will be holding its annual party at THE CINEGRILL (7000 Hollywood Boulevard, Hollywood, CA) this Sunday, January 16th at 3:00 pm. The event is free to paid-up members and one guest and $5 for additional guests on a space available basis. Advance reservations are required; phone 310-226-7033 (don't phone the CINEGRILL) or e-mail at cabwest@aol.com.

Refreshments will be served and there is a cash bar. There is an "open mic" by advance reservation and usually a surprise or two. New members may join at the door ($25 annual), again with advance reservations.


The New Year's Eve festivities were apparently a bust on my block, West 46th Street, between Eighth & Ninth Avenues (Restaurant Row). Apparently the police department decided to close of the street staring at Ninth Avenue - and not just to cars but also to pedestrians! Employees and customers who were going to the cabarets and restaurants on the street were actually escorted by police to their destinations to make sure that they were not actually trying to sneak into Times Square, one block further down! Places that were depending on "walk in" business were out of luck!


We keep hearing rumors that Stan Martin (formerly chief honcho at WQEW, the now long-gone radio home of "The Great American Songbook") is getting set to produce radio shows covering cabaret and Broadway. Problem is, there seem to be no outlets in the NYC area ready to broadcast the shows. I will keep you informed.


Jazz singer Carla White and her Trio will perform for three evenings at BIRDLAND (315 West 44th Street, NYC - 212-581-3080), on a double bill with the Gary Bartz Quartet. Performances will be on Thursday, Friday and Saturday 27th, 28th and 29th of January. Showtimes are at 9:00 & 11:00 pm. Carla's trio features Peter Madsen on piano, Dean Johnson on bass and Matt Wilson on drums.


Last year his concert sold out, so here's advance notice to readers in Massachusetts: on Friday, February 11th at 8:00 pm, Dane Vannatter presents "Heart's Desire, A Night of Jazz and Romance" for Valentine's Weekend at the PEABODY ESSEX MUSEUM, in Salem, located in the heart of Salem's Historic District. Call 978-745-3500 extension 3011 for information and reservations.

Musicians include Bill Duffy on piano, Dave Landoni on bass, George Farrell on drums and Bill Vint on saxophone and flute. Special guest Jody Ebling will join Dane in a reprise of their much acclaimed duets from last year's Valentines Day concert for the MusicAmerica Trust in Lexington, MA. Dane will also perform the debut of the beautiful new Eleanora Ophir song, entitled, "Paint Me a Leaf."


Once again I have gone way over my self imposed 15,000 character limit, so I will close off this issue and send it off to you all. The shorter but more frequent issues means that I can give you more timely information, but a few folks have complained that they don't check their mail often, and the letters really pile up in their e-mail boxes. Let me have your comments.

And that is just about the way it was.

Hugs & Stuff,

STU

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