Pangea Announces Summer Programming and Return to Live Performances

Among the headliners are Tym Moss, Flotilla DeBarge and more.

By: Jun. 16, 2021

Pangea Announces Summer Programming and Return to Live Performances

The beloved East Village supper club Pangea, which came perilously close to closing during COVID, is announcing a mixture of ticketed and no-cover entertainment during the summer. The announcement comes as Pangea earns the prestigious Village Award, presented by Village Preservation at their 31st annual meeting on Wednesday June 16.

Among the headliners are Tym Moss (June 20) and Flotilla DeBarge (June 26 & 27, produced by TWEED TheaterWorks) anchoring a week of Gay Pride; harmony trio Marcus Simeone, Sean Harkness and Lina Koutrakos in "Clearly Now" (June 25); Rachelle Garniez (June 30 & July 1) releasing "Gone to Glory," her compendium of "Farewell Party" hits (collected over five years). All of the above at 7pm.

Jean Brassard and Steve Ross, with special guests Karen Akers and Stephanie Biddle, create elegant fireworks together on Bastille Day, Wednesday July 14 at 8:30pm.

Beginning July 7, and running every Wednesday in July and August, will be the "Pangea Hot Summer Nights Jazz Series" curated by Ben Cassera.

"We learned a lot during the last 15 months," says co-owner and talent director Stephen Shanaghan. "What we did on the sidewalk outside, improvising new dining experiences, operating without heat, providing artists with the space to develop new shows without an audience, has given us a whole new perspective and really a new lease on life."

Pangea's jewelbox Cabaret Room has just re-opened at ¾ capacity, with generous table spacing and a proof-of-vaccination policy that will be observed upon entry. Reservations online will be required, with a cash-at-the-door cover (usually $25) and a $20 per person food and drink minimum (credit cards accepted). For the Front Lounge, Pangea will present an eclectic array of ambient entertainment on most nights of operation. Table reservations will be requested for these unique, casual experiences...with no cover charge, a $20 food and drink minimum, and active encouragement of artist gratuities paid directly through Venmo or Cash App or with old-school cash.

"During COVID we were sustained by our relationships with the East Village, downtown artists and fans of alt-cabaret," says Shanaghan. "It's really why we survived. Friends and artists visited us often, talked about us on social media, and numerous artists channeled their creativity to produce virtually with us and for us." Notable virtual programs, under the "Ghost Light Series" heading, starred Tammy Faye Starlite ("Standing By") and Penny Arcade ("Notes from the Underground.") Both were filmed at Pangea and broadcast on pay-per-view for extended runs. TWEED TheaterWorks' virtual holiday variety show "'Taint" was critically acclaimed and generated crucial support. Directed by Kevin Malony, it featured David Cale, Amber Martin & Brett Every, Charles Busch, Joseph Keckler, Steve Hayes, Carol Lipnik, Rachelle Garniez, Kristine Zbornik, Poor Baby Bree, Flotilla DeBarge, Claywoman, Matthew Dean Marsh & Sylver Wallace, Cleo Berlin, Bergman and Bloustein, Vicki Kristina Barcelona, and David Ilku.

Another "Ghost Light Series" production was Raquel Cion's "Stuck on My Eyes: A Bowie Song Triptych."

Jackson Sturkey's haunting original song and video "A Ghostlight for You" became Pangea's anthem of hope amid the darkness.


The full schedule for the "Pangea Hot Summer Nights Jazz Series," curated by Ben Cassara, will be announced soon. Scheduled so far in the series running Wednesdays from July 7 to August 25, are Sheila Jordan with Harvie S on bass and Roni Ben Hur on guitar (July 7); Kate Baker with Rachel Z on piano and Jon Toscano on bass (July 14); Tessa Souter with Luis Perdomo on piano (July 21); Alex Leonard with Al Gafa on guitar and Jay Leonhart on bass (July 28). All shows at 6pm, cover $25 (cash only), with a $20 food and drink minimum.

A Monday Open Mic Series hosted by Michael McAssey just started and takes place in the Front Lounge Mondays at 8:30pm. Also part of Pride at Pangea, Kyle Motsinger diverts on piano on Friday June 25 at 8:30pm in the Front Lounge (no cover). More Front Lounge artists will be announced soon.

Also just underway and returning by popular demand in the Front Lounge is Sue Matsuki's "Jazz Brunch Open Mic" featuring music director Gregory Toroian on piano and Skip Ward on bass. Referred to as "an embarrassment of riches" by Stephen Mosher in, this unique format mixing audience and guest artists and a full set by Matsuki, unfolds on the 2nd Sunday of the month, from 12noon to 3pm. Reservations required, no cover.

Shanaghan, and co-owner, co-host and interior design director Arnoldo Caballero y Cespedes, have made Pangea a major hub of the burgeoning alt-cabaret movement since introducing music and performance in January 2015. Mixing spirited downtown hospitality with a deliciously priced Italian-Mediterranean menu, Pangea has been called "a bohemian oasis not unlike the fabled Max's Kansas City from days gone by" by Stephen Holden of The NY Times. Recently The Times Elisabeth Vincentelli added, "Over the past few years the East Village boîte Pangea has vaulted to the forefront of the alt-cabaret scene!"

Photo credit: Albie Mitchell