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BWW Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST RECURRING SERIES


It's like appointment TV, only in person!

BWW Feature: And The Nominees Are... BEST RECURRING SERIES Audiences love something familiar. It's always fun to discover something new on a trip out to a club, but it's so much more comfortable to be able to relax into your seat and your drinks with something you already know. That's why Sondheim reviews and Cole Porter shows are more apt to sell well than an evening of new music - nobody wants to sit for an hour paying complete attention to the lyrics of songs they never heard before. When you go to a show you want to be able to enjoy the pleasure of catching music you already know and love, along with the new stuff you will come to love. It's warm and welcoming. That's why the recurring series of the cabaret community are popular.

Once a week people crowd into Birdland to see The Lineup with Susie Mosher or Jim Caruso's Cast Party. Every Tuesday fans of Robbie Rozelle want to see what he's up to over at 54 Below. Each month ardent admirers of Natalie Douglas are anxious to hear what she has to say about the singer into whose work she will be doing a deep dive in her Tributes series.

It is the familiar friends and faces that bring the regulars back every week, making them family to the artists, the servers, the clubs and each other.


Tuesdays at 54! With Robbie Rozelle - Feinstein's/54 Below: Rozelle, a popular performer and concert director, created his Tuesday night variety show as an amalgam of the game shows, talk programs, and variety specials that were instrumental in shaping his show business interests from an early age. With celebrity guests, great musical entertainment, chat, laughs and rather silly games, the show developed quite a following. There are rumors that the show might move to another venue in the future, so fans should keep an ear out for that news, once the clubs reopen.

The Sensible Cabaret - The Duplex: Produced by The Sensible Theatre Co., The Sensible Cabaret focuses on putting up on the stage a wide-ranging and totally inclusive array of queer artists and allies. One of the most popular downtown series, their shows always seek out new ways of artistic expression and new artists to put into the light. A favorite of Broadway World Cabaret reviewer Bobby Patrick, The Sensible Cabaret always has his vote of confidence and our support.

54 Sings - Feinstein's/54 Below: The 54 Sings series is a regular big seller for the midtown Manhattan club. The 54 Below family produces this group show to focus on the canon of various artists with each new instalment. Past shows have been about The Beatles, Harry Styles, Dolly Parton and many more and, boy, you should see the talent they line up for these nights. It's no wonder you can never get a ticket!

Actoria - The Astor Room: Actoria Cabaret is a popular show and one of the few to take place out of Manhattan! Host Josh Bardier created the Long Island City based program with "three rules, endless laughs, and a welcoming community for any performer or lover of music" and with it came a community of performers devoted to the evening and to Bardier himself, a leader in positivity for the entire club community.

Bridging the Gap - Birdland Theater, Feinstein's/54 Below: The educational program BRIDGING THE GAP is a popular institution that helps teach actors young and not-so-young how to take their musical theater training and apply it to new techniques that aid in the art of musical storytelling in a club and concert atmosphere. Each session features a showcase in a New York City nightclub and every showcase has been proof-positive that Bridging The Gap founder and director Ari Axelrod is doing something right. These are some gifted new talents entering the community.

Broadway At Birdland 2004 - 2020 - Birdland: The Jim Caruso-helmed series has been responsible for bringing some of the greatest performers to the Birdland stage - even if they are not, particularly Broadway based. Recent years have seen Tony Award nominee Max von Essen and American Idol alumni Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo in the series, but fans filled the seats to see former Disney star and perennial troubadour John Davidson and just before the lockdown, ticket sales were going wild for country music star Ty Hendon. It's a splendid and spectacular way to see the talents you wouldn't always get a chance to.

Famous in New York - Laurie Beechman Theatre/Feinstein's 54 Below: The Famous In New York company has spent ten years filming the stars in action but they decided to take to the stage with their show Famous In NY Presents, a series through which the venerated company showcased the performing artists of the community. With Shoshana Feinstein producing and musical director Ben Moss behind the piano, it was always destined to be a hit.

An Evening with... Series - The Green Room 42: Conductor and arranger Blake Allen manages to get 14 (FOURTEEN!) musicians on the stage of The Green Room 42, as well as some of the greatest vocal talents the city has to offer, and together they pay regular tribute to the singers we all know and love, from Sinatra to Bassey, from Doris Day to Eartha Kitt. They even did a tribute evening to the great Sherman Brothers who composed the songs for every movie musical you loved as a kid. There is never an empty seat in the house.

Leslie and Lolly's Bizarre Brunch - Laurie Beechman: Puppeteer Leslie Carrara-Rudolph has experience with puppets on television and has tread the boards of the cabaret rooms as a solo artist, but when she brought her sidekick Lolly Lardpop to the Laurie Beechman Theatre for her Bizarre Brunch, she found herself a regular gig that featured sold-out seats at every performance, thanks to her totally original, completely accessible, absolutely bizarre brand of comedy, puppetry, and musicality. *ahem* Broadway legend Chita Rivera is a regular. Just sayin'.

Mama's Next Big Act - Don't Tell Mama: For some years now Mama's Next Big Act has been a tradition at Don't Tell Mama, one that is greatly anticipated by audiences and actors alike, something akin to a holiday or a yearly television premiere. The club's version of the popular TV talent show genre, Mama's Next Big Act draws competitors of stature and newbie status, and the show created by Lennie Watts is destined to be around for a long time to come.

Music At The Mansion: Porch Performances - Oakeside Bloomfield Cultural Center: This new series on the nomination ballot is one that has been created during the global health crisis, and though it is not inside of the city of New York, it employs Manhattan artists and deserves this recognition. NiCori Studios and Productions brought cabaret back to the live stage by creating an outdoor concert series where every person is protected by social distancing and see-through panels. NiCori founders Corinna Sowers-Adler and Nicholas Adler produced a lineup of talent that did the unthinkable: it got people to drive out of the city and into New Jersey in the middle of a pandemic. That's power, baby.

Poetry/Cabaret - The Green Room 42: One of the most interesting shows on the cabaret scene, Poetry/Cabaret is the creation of Thomas March, who seeks to bring full inclusivity to the clubs of Manhattan - not just of people but of art forms. March curates an evening of song and spoken word by inviting two musical performers, two stand up comics and two poets to perform, always making sure that the performers represent the world of ethnicities and of fluidity. It is a daring, edgy, and divinely human way of looking at art and artists, one that hasn't quite caught on yet but that Broadway World Cabaret will continue to champion and promote until everyone in the business has been out to see what March and co. are doing at The Green Room 42.

Ricky Ritzel's Broadway - Don't Tell Mama: Musical theater maven Ricky Ritzel presents his ongoing revue of Broadway music and history at the intimate and famed club Don't Tell Mama, and thanks to his inimitable style, unique rhetoric, and seasoned-skills as a performer, actors clamor to appear and audiences scramble to see just what hilarity and musical treasures will occur at the regular instalments of a show that nobody wants to miss. Worth. Catching.

Sondheim Unplugged - Feinstein's/54 Below: Sondheimphile and aesthete Phil Geoffrey Bond created the popular series ten years ago and has kept it going through painstaking curation of talent on display, marriage of actor to material, and his own knowledgeable, pithy and passionate dispensing of show business fact and fable. Still garnering new fans a decade later, Sondheim Unplugged is a series worthy of continued production.

Broadway Sings: Unplugged - The Green Room 42, Sony Hall: The brainchild of Broadway's Corey Mach, this concert series has been going strong for almost a decade now and hopefully it will never stop. Mach and co. pick a famous artist and present their work to audiences that are continually wowed by the talented singers who show them a new way to hear, to feel, and to think of the songs we all already know. It's a glamorous way to spend an evening in a club.

Natalie Douglas Tributes - Birdland: Cabaret doyenne (at this point we may as well just say cabaret superstar) Natalie Douglas takes on the canon of famous musical artists throughout the year and, show by show, examines their work and their lives. With singers like Cher, Sammy Davis Jr., Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Elvis and Miss Nancy Wilson on her roster, let it be said that Natalie Douglas fears nothing. Every installment is standing room only.

Be sure to cast your vote for the Broadway World Award BEST RECURRING SERIES of your choice HERE.

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