Feature: The Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Three - The Hosts With The Most

Broadway World Cabaret looks at the people for whom we are grateful.

By: Nov. 03, 2023
Feature: The Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Three - The Hosts With The Most

The Days Of Cabaret Gratitude

Day Three:  The Hosts With The Most - The Pangea Team

The team of artists working at PANGEA are artists of a different nature than we usually discuss when talking about cabaret.  Usually the conversation at BWW Cabaret is about the people who sing, who tell jokes, who dance, do tricks, tell stories and who, in other manner of entertainment, stand up in the light.  There are other artists, though, and they are usually not quite in the light, unless it happens to spill off of the stage and onto them, as they slip, deftly, in and out and around the patrons of the club.  They are the team of proficients who make the clubgoing experience a good one.  They are the workers and the owners and they are the architects of our fine night out.  

There are a lot of venues in New York City where a person can find a good time in the name of cabaret and concert.  Some of those venues get all the attention in the world, venues with famous names, like Carnegie Hall, venues with celebrated guests, like 54 Below, and venues with legendary histories, like Birdland.  They are good venues, no, they are great venues, but they are not the only venues.  There are small, quiet, unassuming venues that populate little pockets of the city, that are the artistic home to certain performers and the neighborhood home to several regulars.  There may be people who don’t even know of their existence, until someone tells them about their, personal, favorite place to be.  

Pangea is just such a place.

Feature: The Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Three - The Hosts With The Most

Located on Second Avenue, Pangea is a simple neighborhood eatery that, a few years back, stuck a small stage in their back dining room, added a piano and a sound system, screwed some lights into the ceiling, and created a cabaret room.  A Lower East Side space, the cabaret room became the place for interesting, quirky, off-the-beaten-path acts and, eventually, it became what is hailed as the birthplace of Alt Cabaret.  And while it is true that the artists of the Alt aesthetic love to play the intimate room, there has also been a parade of crooners, jazz babies, and even some stars of the legitimate theatrical stage who have stood up on the smaller-than-that platform at Pangea.  But it isn’t the entertainers that are in the light today: it is the Pangea team.

Feature: The Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Three - The Hosts With The Most

Owners Stephen Shanaghan and Arnoldo Caballero have created the warmest, coziest, most welcome space a person could dream of when going out for a night in the city.  Whether seated in the deliciously whimsical decor of the front dining room, having a cocktail and listening to one of the regular cover charge-free acts that play in the front window of the club, or enjoying one of Chef Marvin Alvarez’s gorgeous dinners during a cabaret performance, there is an overwhelming feeling of home all around you.  Anyone who ever watched the TV show CHEERS and wondered how someone could just simply spend all their time hanging out in a food and drink establishment will find the answer at Pangea.  The ambiance is so soothing (and, yet, festive) that you never want to leave.  The beautiful and bountiful drinks by Marek Kisiel and Luka Baturan are so enjoyable that you just want to run a tab.  And the smiles from all of the men who host the hood and the cabaret community are always kind, benevolent, warm, (and in the case of Arnoldo, mischievous).  They are, genuinely, the sweetest people to serve up a meal, a drink, and a club act that a person, New Yorker or tourist, could hope to find.  This writer has actually watched the five men handle a completely full front room (with Arnoldo on service), cabaret room (with Luka on service), with Stephen seating, Marvin cooking, and Marek making drinks while running the lights for the show - and it never became stressful, never became work, never became a melange.  Like ninjas, Luka and Arnoldo slipped in and out of the tables, serving Marvin’s meals (oh!  The culinary smells!), Marek glided from bar to lightboard, and Stephen socialized with the guests.  They are their own corps de ballet, and they have mastered the art of keeping the people happy, and keeping them coming back.  They are, all five of them, the purveyors of one of our favorite places to be in New York City, cabaret or otherwise.  They are The Hosts With The Most.

Pangea is located at 178 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003,  (212) 995-0900 and all things Pangea can be found on their website HERE.

In show business, billing is important.  For the sake of The Biz, here is the Pangea billing:

Stephen Shanaghan, Owner, General Manager, Kitchen Manager, Artistic Director of performances

Arnoldo Caballero, Owner, Floor Manager, Interior Design

Marvin Alvarez, Chef

Marek Kisiel, Sound Engineer, Bartender, Server, Graphic Design

Luka Baturan, Bartender, Server, Assistant Floor Manager

Photos by Stephen Mosher

Feature: The Days Of Cabaret Gratitude - Day Three - The Hosts With The Most

From left to righ:  Marvin Alvarez, Arnoldo Caballero, Luka Baturan, Stephen Shanaghan, Marek Kisiel


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