Every now and then we all need a little cabaret. When it’s cabaret combined with one of our favorite NYC locales – Café Carlyle – it’s hard to keep us away. That’s why when we were invited to hear cabaret sensation Maude Maggart perform at the Carlyle Hotel, we were there in a hot minute. The show runs through Saturday March 1st, and if you have no plans this weekend, we urge you to make a reservation. Maggart – whose latest album ‘Speaking of Dreams’ is out April 8th – dished on her favorite playlist of classic songs, as well as five spots around the world you can still go to enjoy some quintessential cabaret. Musical lovers, take note…
Top Ten Classic Cabaret Songs:
“Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” – One of Jerome Kern’s most complicated and beautiful melodies.
“Every Time We Say Goodbye” – Classic Cole Porter being deceptively simple. Or simply deceptive.
“Can I Forget You?” – Jerome Kern at the height of his melodic lushness.
“Deep Purple” – I love Mitchell Parish’s perchant for smokey twinkling mystery in his lyrics.
“Don’t Ever Leave Me” – Written for the original “torch singer,” Helen Morgan.
“Ten Cents A Dance” – Story of a down-and-out 20’s era dance hall girl. What could be better?
“Sophisticated Lady” – One of Duke Ellington’s most haunting songs.
“You’re An Education” – I used to tool around with my friends at Bennington listening to Michael Feinstein’s recording of this song (it was a liberal arts college.)
“Over The Rainbow” – Yip Harburg and Harold Arlens’ home run of the century.
“What’ll I Do?” – Irving Berlin’s great gift was getting to the point simply and beautifully.
Top Five Cabaret Clubs in USA:
The Café Carlyle (New York City): Sophistication and undeniable warmth, with possibly the richest history of any surviving club.
Tom Rolla’s Gardenia (West Hollywood): The longest-running privately owned and operated cabaret in the U.S., The Gardenia is a pink-lit haven. I got my start there, and continue to go to weekly open mics.
Feinstein’s at the Nikko (San Francisco): The foremost authority on The Great American Songbook, Michael Feinstein brings the elegance and technical perfection that he’s known for to this jewel.
The Royal Room at The Colony Hotel (Palm Beach, Florida): Rob Russell runs this gorgeous room which, in itself, is fabulous, but a gracious, elegant, and charming host makes all the difference.
The Duplex (New York City): One of the most fun, and best clubs for all kinds of cabaret (and there is a lot.)
*Maude Maggart, photographed in Bemelmans Bar at The Carlyle Hotel by Danielle Kosann