CABARET LIFE NYC: Brochu & Schalchlin Shows at the Met Room on 1/15 Should Hit a Grand Slam As Cabaret Doubleheader

CABARET LIFE NYC: Brochu & Schalchlin Shows at the Met Room on 1/15 Should Hit a Grand Slam As Cabaret Doubleheader

Cabaret Reviews and Commentary by Stephen Hanks

As a cabaret reviewer, my role (note I didn't say "job" because that implies I actually get compensated more than just psychically for this work) is to observe, muse, opine, critique, judge, and otherwise hobnob with all the thoughts in my fevered brain during and after a show. I don't believe it's appropriate for reviewers to promote specific shows--especially before they've reviewed them--so I don't write a "Pick of the Week or Month" column or advise readers on what or whom they should see. (Can you imagine the assault on my email inbox if word got out that I promoted shows in advance?) I assume that my fair, honest, descriptive, and otherwise learned assessment of a show would pretty much do that job for a performer's future shows. Otherwise, what are breathless quotes for?

All that said, with the next few taps of the keyboard I will break my own law and speak the name of . . . Moses. Sorry, I got carried away on that one. Actually, the policy I'll be breaking here is that of promoting two shows, but only because I've already reviewed both of them.

You may no longer be able to see New York Metropolitan doubleheaders during baseball season (that policy went out with having to pay players multi-million dollar contracts), but tomorrow night you can witness a fabulous cabaret doubleheader at the Metropolitan Room. For a combined $40 cover (but only $20 if you use the discount code STEVEJIM) with a two-drink minimum for each show (basically the cost of a hot dog and beer at Yankee Stadium these days), you can see songwriter's Steve Schalchlin's emotionally moving Tales From the Bonus Round at 7pm (my review can be read here), followed by actor/singer Jim Brochu's performance of his new show Character Man at 9pm, the review of which can be read here. (By the way, Brochu and Schalchlin have been life partners for the past 28 years.) Brochu's show is a cabaret version of his longer theater-style, one-man musical memoir, which we've just learned will be produced by Francis Hill and Peter Napolitano of Urban Stages for a run throughout March at their theatre at 259 West 30th Street (check their website at urbanstages.org soon for more info). Good move, Urban Stages.

I will be attending both shows tomorrow night because now I don't have to review them and can just relax, sip my cocktails and enjoy. And if you attend based on this column, please feel free come over and thank me after each show. After all, I have my own show at the Met Room on February 5 at 7pm to promote. Hint, hint.

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Stephen Hanks During more than 30 years as a magazine editor/writer, website writer, and book author for a variety of national magazines and websites, Stephen Hanks has written about sports, health and nutrition, parenting, politics, the media, and most recently, musical theater, and cabaret. While by day, Stephen is the Advertising Sales Director for Habitat Magazine (a publication covering life in New York Metro area co-ops and condos), by night he writes reviews and columns about New York City cabaret for BroadwayWorld.com. Stephen also writes feature stories about cabaret for Cabaret Scenes Magazine and CabaretScenes.org. He is also the Board President of Manhattan Musical Theatre Lab, which workshops new musicals in New York City, and he is the founder, producer and director of the Broadway Musical Fantasy Camp, which is a workshop for amateur performers that rehearses and presents staged readings of classic Broadway Musicals. In 2011, Stephen was an Associate Producer for the Off-Broadway show THE FARTISTE. Stephen most recently staged his debut solo cabaret show, "Beyond American Pie: The Don McLean Songbook" at the Metropolitan Room in New York. Please contact Stephen with your comments and questions at: stephenhanks41@gmail.com