News Ticker

Feinstein’s/54 Below

The New York Pops Underground Cabaret featuring Max von Essen

October 9, 2021

Von Essen did sing a couple of songs from a living composer, one Andrew Lloyd Webber. He relayed the story of going on for Ricky Martin in Evita, where the curtain had to be held so that all the box office refunds could be processed; he won the sympathy of every ear in the house on that retelling. He also declared that although auditions for both the parts of Raul and the title character of "The Phantom of the Opera" did not yield successful results for the Broadway production, he did get to play said Phantom in "Love Never Dies," which was a perfect segue to “Till I Hear You Sing.” It seemed the evening was specifically shaped to present this “power ballad” as the 11 o’clock number, and von Essen truly pulled out his most formal, rich and dramatic voice for it, earning him spontaneous applause in the middle of the song and even a few standing ovations afterward. As for the other Webber song, well, I did not think I’d ever want to hear this song again, in or out of its "Evita" context; yet von Essen put Magaldi completely aside and sang a most stunningly beautiful and exquisite version of “On This Night of a Thousand Stars” as one could ever imagine hearing. His sublime and subtle tenor notes were completely glorious, and this song became the superlative number of the evening for this listener. [more]

On the Town with Chip Deffaa: As Nightclubs Begin Coming Back

July 20, 2021

Gianni Valenti, who runs one of the city’s best-known and most important nightspots, Birdland Jazz Club on 44th Street, deserves a lot of credit for leading the way.  He was one of the first club owners to announce plans to reopen.  He’s reopened strong, booking lots of respected artists, like Delfeayo Marsalis, Allan Harris, Ken Peplowski, etc. (For Birdland's full schedule, go to www.birdlandjazz.com.)  And he’s keeping prices as low as possible to make sure the place is packed.   For many shows at Birdland this summer, you can buy tickets online and pay only a nominal cover charge—some nights just 99 cents (plus a service charge).  That’s the same cover charge the club had when it first opened way back in 1949. [more]

Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope

January 31, 2019

The young British actor Mark Farrelly brilliantly channels the 20th century cultural icon’s witty presence in his highly theatrical self-written solo show. [more]

New York Pops Underground (Feinstein’s/54 Below)

September 25, 2016

Hosted by the always charming Steven Reineke, the fundraising event, New York Pops Underground, featured two terrific Broadway stars, Montego Glover and Tony Yazbeck, whose performances clearly loosened the purse strings of a standing-room-only Feinstein’s/54 Below crowd. [more]

Max Chernin on His Solo Debut at Feinstein’s/54 Below and the Impact of “Bright Star”

August 10, 2016

In college, during my senior year, I had an assignment to put together a half hour cabaret. I did that also about being a redhead, so I started there and dug up that old sheet music and changed/added to some of that. I’m covering some iconic gingers in musical theatre as well as some of the social aspects of being a ginger -- some of the things that "South Park" brought up. There’s this episode where they claim that gingers have no souls and make fun of them, so will be referencing and challenging those views. It’ll also be some stories and some of my favorite songs. [more]

Saloons: Some Enchanted Evenings

May 14, 2016

Cabaret has always been a mixed bag. The golden age is gone. However, in today's schizo world of nightclubs, things are looking pretty good. It is a milieu unique in the entertainment industry. And, it continues to reinvent itself. The late cabaret critic Martin Schaeffer wrote in Back Stage in 1993,“There cannot be a better night of classic American music than a Bobby Short gig at The Carlyle.” He was right; especially if you're a purist of the Great American Songbook. [more]