Cabaret Hotline Online is an independent website with more than 7,400 pages of news, information and stories on cabaret, owned and maintained by Stu Hamstra. CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE is not affiliated with any club or organization. It is totally supported through advertising and membership donations. This blog is an extension of the website and newsletter.


"His eye is on the sparrow...."

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Are you a songwriter? For the past year we have been sponsoring a special CABARET SINGS website, and are currently combining the two websites into one - with a special section for songwriters. Each website was hosted on a different server with a different hosting company, and we discovered over the year that this was too confusing (and expensive), especially since there were two sets of rules I had to keep in mind when developing and correcting pages. You can see what the NEW CABARET SINGS section will look like by clicking on the words SINGS TEST in the left column on my home page - just under the two SUPER SIDEBAR ads. You might be interested in being a part of this section if you are a songwriter. Check it out.


A new cabaret venue, KATHLEEN DOWNEY'S GRANITE ROOM at CITY HALL RESTAURANT (131 Duane Street, NYC - 212-227-7777) will present 4 successive Thursdays of cabaret, featuring the clubs namesake KT Sullivan, on August 20th & 27th of August and September 3rd & 10th, all shows at 8:00 pm. Ms. Sullivan will concentrate on "old" songs, yet songs still with us, still fondly recalled. Songs will range from the lightness of operetta, including Victor Herbert and Sigmund Romberg, as well as a Merry Widow aria, to the Americana of George M. Cohan and early works of Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Cole Porter. Plus familiar songs from all over - Ireland, Austria, Italy. Ms. Sullivan will perform "unplugged" - without microphone. Accompanying Ms. Sullivan is the masterful pianist and jazz great Jon Weber, who'll also offer special musical interpretations during dinner. Kathleen Downey's Granite Room opens at 5:30 pm, combining dinner and show into a $90 package, which includes a 3-course dinner and performance.


John Hoglund presents A THRILLER IN CABARET!, a birthday salute to the late Michael Jackson on Saturday, August 29th at 7:30 pm at THE METROPOLITAN ROOM (34 West 22nd Street, NYC - 212-206-0440). John is assembling an exceptional evening of sensational performers and performances celebrating the songs associated with Michael Jackson's career on what would have been his 51st birthday. Scheduled to perform to date (subject to change): Bobby Belfry (Bistro/MAC Award winner), Michael Kaden Craig ("Altar Boyz"), Baby Jane Dexter (Multi-award winner), Natalie Douglas (Multi-award winner), Terese Genecco (Bistro & MAC Award winner), Randy Jones (The Village People Cowboy), Lina Koutrakos (Multi-award winner), Jose Luis (International award winning harpist), Marieann Meringolo (Bistro Award winner), Dimitri Minuccci (Bistro Award winner), German Rodriguez ("Rent," Legally Blond"), Marcus Simeone (Bistro/MAC ward winner), Anne Steele (2008 MetroStar Winner), KT Sullivan (Multi-award winner), Lennie Watts (Multi-award winner) and Lilias White (Tony Award winner) plus special surprise Guests. Musical Directors: Barry Levitt & Steven Ray Watkins; Guitar: Jack Cavari; Bass guitar: Morrie Louden; Percussion: Mira Casales. The show is a benefit on behalf of God's Love, We Deliver ( ), which provides meals and nutritional counseling to men, women and children living with life-altering illnesses. There is a $25 cover plus a 2-drink minimum.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


I don't have a credit card (I do have a PayPal debit card that works like a credit card), but most folks do, and many cabaret rooms are now switching over to credit cards as well - something that has become a source of frustration to some cabaret performers who are accustomed to being pain in cash at the end of their show from the cash cover receipts. You see, just because the club has placed the charge on their account, doesn't mean that the cash is available to them right away to pay you. It can take two to three weeks for the amount to be processed, and then there is the "refund" factor. Some tabs at the more expensive rooms, especially for large parties, run to several hundred dollars and take a bit longer to clear - and the room has no way of getting the monies back from the performer if a customer, on receiving his credit card statement, raises an objection - the credit card company freezes the funds until the item is resolved. So, with the convenience your fans have when they are able to use a credit card, come the inconvenience to the performer who might have to wait 6 to 8 weeks or more to get paid. A cash-less society has its drawbacks!


For those on a tight budget in these times (I know what that means) a glance through the listings in the latest issue of CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE might lead you to several cabaret events around the country and the world with no cover, very low cover, or at lease reduced cover than usual.

One big example is Raissa Katonah Bennett's very successful free cabaret concerts at TUDOR CITY GREENS - a park about a stone's throw from the U.N. Building (no stone throwing, please). The next one is this Wednesday night at 6:00 pm (rain date same time on Thursday). About 300 folks attended the concert in July, on Wednesday the 8th - introducing a score of cabaret performers to the public. I was told that they had a tough time getting folks to leave at the end of the show - they wanted more.

Annie Dinerman has a no-cover show at GOOGIE'S LOUNGE at THE LIVING ROOM on the Saturday, August 8th; Sammy Velvet has a $5 cover at DON'T TELL MAMA on Sunday & Monday, August 9th (5:30 pm) & 10th (7:00 pm); Kristine Zbornik will be performing a no cover show DON'T TELL MAMA on Sunday, August 16th; Booth Daniels & Patrick Frankfort make their ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL debut with no cover on Monday, August 17th. And, if you have a CABARET HOTLINE ONLINE membership card, the cover at Teresa Fischer's show at DON'T TELL MAMA on August 10th is just $5.

Brandon Cutrell's AFTER PARTY on Fridays has no cover, and same goes for the Sunday night Algonquin Salon in the lobby of THE ALGONQUIN HOTEL and JAZZ on the PLAZA every Thursday in July & August on the plaza at ST. PETER'S CHURCH. And, if I research more, I am sure I will find a dozen more this week alone!

Of course, for many shows there is a drink minimum, but in these times you probably need a good drink or two now and then anyway.