People To Watch In Cabaret and Concert In 2022

Some are new to the industry, some are veterans, but all promise greatness in the new year.

By: Jan. 01, 2022
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People To Watch In Cabaret and Concert In 2022 It's a new year and a new chance for new adventures. One of the adventures this cabaret aficionado and reporter is always excited about is going into the club and cabarets of New York City, the concert venues and dive bars, the rooms where live entertainment lives, and discovering new talent. With each new year, there are three hundred sixty-five opportunities to become acquainted with a performer previously unknown to a person, three hundred sixty-five chances to find for yourself an artist whose next show you can look forward to. During the 2021 cabaret season, I had a chance to see some wonderful artists perform live for the very first time and now I have them on my permanent radar. I'm constantly looking for their names in group shows at 54 Below, checking the Green Room 42 website to see if they are going solo, or hoping my Google alert will ping me with, at least, a new YouTube video (something every performing artist should be laser-focused on putting up, at least once a month #bighint #underrepresented #forshame). Since I do have that Google alert and since I do have my List of Hopefuls, it is only fair that I share with other cabaret devotees who might be looking for some quality live music in Manhattan, so, for our loyal Broadway World Cabaret readers, here is my list of


D'Marreon Alexander - When I saw this gifted young performer at 54 Below in the Spot-On Entertainment GIVE MY REGARDS show, I put a star next to his name in my notebook. Happily, this video of that very performance is on YouTube. Visit D'Marreon's website HERE and look for him in the future. It will be worth the effort.

Christopher Brasfield - 2021 saw a big move for singer-songwriter Christopher Brasfield. While this actor had been laser-focused on his work as a signer-songwriter during the shutdown, after the quarantine was lifted, Mr. Brasfield went back to work in the clubs... as a newly-minted member of The Boy Band Project. His r&b vocals and rangy voice added a delectable kick to the BBP aesthetic, but there is always hope that the Boyz will let Brasfield out, now and then, for a solo show. Christopher can be found online HERE.

Tim Connell - An already well-established cabaret performer, Mr. Connell returned to the stage after (what I was given to understand was) an extended absence. Thank goodness he did come back after the shutdown with his new show because he is simply sensational. That show is still playing, by the way, and tickets can be got HERE and HERE. THIS is Tim's website, to check for future club dates.

Arielle Crosby - A one-shot performance at Feinstein's is what caught the attention of this lover of group shows and immense talent, and that one performance was thankfully videotaped and posted to YouTube - the video quality could be better, but it's pretty much a case of something being better than nothing. Watch that performance and then check out Arielle's website HERE.

Chelle Denton - Chelle (pronounced Shelly) Denton was the winner of the Spot-On singing contest GIVE MY REGARDS - a contest during which six wonderful performers sang their final numbers in front of a sold-out live audience at 54 Below. When Chelle finished her number it was pretty clear, even though there were still a few acts left to perform, that she had won. THIS is the Chelle Denton Instagram and her initial entry video is below.

Michelle Dowdy & Jordan Wolfe - Two boffo solo artists, both halves of this real-life couple perform with others and on their own, but there is a palpable change in the air when the lovebirds work together, as evidenced by this DIY project the couple made just because it was Halloween. Jordan Wolfe's website is HERE, Ms. Dowdy can be found HERE, and the Jordan and Michelle show is accessible HERE.

Nicholas Edwards - When Nicholas Edwards started to sing his solo number in the BROADWAY BREAKUP PLAYLIST VOL. 2 a kind of hush came over the room. The proceedings had been, mostly, convivial up to that point, but everyone knew that the air was about to change. And, boy, did it ever. The man did "Gethsamane" his own way. As Miranda Priestley would say: that's all. Learn more about Nicholas HERE.

Tyler Joseph Ellis - When the jammie-decked-out Ellis performed "In Short" in the BROADWAY BREAKUP PLAYLIST (This writer's choice for best group show of 2021) he stood out in a show filled with exceptional performances. His commitment to the storytelling, his exquisite diction, and his ability to be foolish made it a memorable moment in a great show. That's why I do a weekly search for his next performance. Tyler Joseph Ellis has a website HERE.

Kevin Ferguson - This member of the 54 Below management team started out as an actor but his new focus on producing has captured the attention of audiences and artists alike. The former wants to see his shows and the latter wants to be in his shows... and this writer wants to be at all of them. The flamboyant and fabulous Kevin Ferg's next outing is coming up fast and you're not going to want to miss it: HERE is the intel and reservation line and HERE is Kevin Feg's website.

Caitie Frownfelter - This member of the Birdland front-of-house staff is a singing actress with a soprano strong enough for Vanilla Ice Cream and a sense of humor playful enough for a musical comedy show coming up at the Birdland Theater in January, working alongside her gal pal Lisa Hickman. The raven-haired beauty is ready to take her turn in the spotlight and Broadway World Cabaret will be there to see it happen. Get information and reservations HERE.

Jasmine Forsberg - When Jasmine Forsberg appeared at 54 Below in EVEN IF IT ONLY RUNS A MINUTE, she was working alongside some very famous artists. It did not stop the actress, relatively new to the New York stage, from emerging as one of the highlights of the evening. See that same performance below and find Jasmine online HERE.

Joomin Hwang - Korean native and cast member of THE PROM on Broadway, Joomin Hwang made such an impression during his appearance at Feinstein's in THE SONGS OF Howard Ashman that he stood out as an evening highlight, sending this writer to the YouTubes to find more of the man's work. Though Hwang's performance of "Beauty and the Beast" is actually online, this performance of "Electricity" is so compelling that it will probably have many others looking for the future Joomin Hwang show. HERE is Joomin Hwang on Instagram.

Jesse JP Johnson - The Broadway veteran and member of The Boy Band Project had a solo show play The Green Room 42 in 2021 and Broadway World's Ricky Pope gave the show a rave review. After seeing Jesse in a few group shows and a couple of Boy Band performances, this writer is spittin' mad he missed that solo club act. There better be another one coming because I'm ready to get my ticket and hear some of JP's original songs. THIS is the Jesse JP Johnson website.

Ben Jones - A regular on the club and concert stage, this Internationally acclaimed singing actor is one of cabaret producer Scott Siegel's favorites and a nominee for the Broadway World Cabaret Audience Awards of 2021. But in 2022 Mr. Jones is stepping into the solo spot with his own club act, his F/54B, and NYC solo show debut. The much-anticipated event can be accessed online HERE. See Ben Jones sing "Bring Him Home" at 54 Below by clicking THIS link and visit Mr. Jones' website HERE.

People To Watch In Cabaret and Concert In 2022

Emily Kay - A musical theater actress who has played the clubs in group shows and a duo show with her chum Olivia Perrin, Kay had a prolific presence online during the global health crisis and came out of quarantine with a smash-hit solo show debut that had everyone talking. Everyone is still talking. Emily Kay has a website HERE and a YouTube channel HERE.

Elijah Ahmad Lewis - An appearance in last year's AT THIS PERFORMANCE was as stunning as any performance in club and concert, and though the Internationally well-known EAL will be busy touring with the National Company of AIN'T TOO PROUD, there is always hope he might turn up in a group show or, if everyone is lucky, a show of his own. Follow Elijah Ahmad Lewis at his website HERE.

Moipei Triplets - The Moirpei Triplets caused a sensation at the Mabel Mercer Foundation's annual Cabaret Convention and then took Birdland Theater by storm. This sister act has some of the most stunning harmonies and charming storytelling on the scene today, which is probably why everyone, upon seeing them, becomes immediately smitten by them. Check out the Moipei Triplets on their YouTube channel HERE.

Ben Moss - After getting pre-and-post pandemic raves from Broadway World Cabaret, singer-songwriter Ben Moss continues with his monthly gig at The Duplex presenting Ben Moss AND FRIENDS. The affable and adorable Moss presents a laid-back atmosphere where he and his mates chat and sing and entertain, but the quality of the music is not at all laid-back - this is artistry at its most impeccable. THIS is the Ben Moss website.

Maria-Christina Oliveras - An actress with an interest in exploring the edgy and adventurous, Ms. Oliveras made a sold-out solo show club debut in 2021 that brought all of that edge, and all of her fire to the stage, where an appreciatively screaming audience encouraged her to come back, anytime. Here is hoping she will because she is an exciting and interesting storyteller to watch, full of wonder and surprises. THIS is the Maria-Christina Oliveras website.

Nicole Vanessa Ortiz - A singing actress with a wealth of experience on the theatrical and concert stages, Ms. Ortiz has it all - talent, presence, personality, and enviable vocal abilities. Add wardrobe and you've got a perfect diva. Oh, wait, she has the wardrobe, too. Watching Nicole Vanessa Ortiz is always exciting, so watching where she goes and what she does next will be quite a ride. Visit the Nicole Vanessa Ortiz website HERE.

Kelli Rabke - This veteran of both the Broadway and concert stages is a member of the ever-growing group show community, always bringing her A-Game with perfect performances of every number she does. In 2021, though, Rabke upped the ante with her one-woman concert TINY GIANTS, and the group show industry might have to do without her for a while because this show will probably be booked into theaters around the country, if not the world. Follow Kelli Rabke at her website HERE.

Ayla Schwartz - With her spectacular one-woman cabaret about growing from child actor to just plain-old actor, Ayla Schwartz showed that she is ready to be taken seriously for all the facets of her professional artistry. That show that got a rave review from Broadway World Cabaret returns to The Green Room 42 in a matter of weeks can be seen by reserving tickets HERE. THIS is the Ayla Schwartz website.

Salome Smith - Her closing number at 54 Below in the BROADWAY BREAKUP PLAYLIST VO. 2 was one of the highlights in the entire 2021 season of cabaret and concerts. Ms. Smith is a singing actress who should always be held up to the light and, hopefully, that can happen with a Salome Smith solo show. Salome Smith's Instagram is HERE.

Veronica Stern - A versatile singing actress who appeared at 54 Below twice last year, Ms. Stern has incredible range, as demonstrated in both performances, singing the lyrical "If I Love You" and the powerful "Suddenly Seymour." This writer was at both performances and is watching, waiting, and hoping for the Veronica Stern solo show debut. Veronica Stern can be seen online HERE.

Natalie Walker - One of the most original and fascinating actors of all-time, Natalie Walker usually works alongside bestie Bonnie Milligan but in 2021, the force of nature turned in a tour-de-force solo show debut at Feinstein's/54 Below, and even though she and Bonnie went back to work a few weeks later, Ms. Walker was back at 54 Below just last month. This writer advises everyone reading this to keep an eye out for the next time MAD SCENES plays the club and GET. TICKETS. THIS is Natalie Walker's Instagram.

Darnell White - One of the most prolific musical artists on the scene today, the adorable and adored Mr. White is a singer and songwriter, a musical director, and a producer, and he is always attached to projects that place him alongside the best in the business. Industrious, Mr. White recorded and released an entire album during the quarantine, and as soon as the show business shutdown was lifted, he was back at work in the clubs - nearly all of them. His December solo show at The Triad is being rescheduled, due to the health crisis, but the beloved White can be found online HERE.


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