Where else but New York can you find any musical offering to suit just about any taste (and at just about any hour of any day)? From new and classic pop and rock to jazz and classical, from rhythm and blues to cabaret and burlesque, from Broadway to world music—and yes, even country and Americana (we may not be Nashville, but Nashville sure comes to us)?
And where better to see any or all of it than at Joe’s Pub, down on Lafayette Street? Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater is about as New York as you can get: a true melting pot where performers and artists from all over the world gather in an intimate setting for live music and performance. Following a major renovation in 2011 (it opened back in 1998), the nearly all-gray-walled space offers a cabaret-meets-downtown-club kind of feel, with small, private tables and more communal ones interspaced on two levels between the lower-level stage and the second-level bar area. When the lights go down and the soft, flickering, melodious flutter of votives warms the space, it’s as if you’re transported to Paris in the 1920s, or an underground Berlin cabaret bar in the 1940s. It could be any city or era, really, depending on who’s performing and what crowd fills the place (anything goes, from hipster skinny jeans and personality glasses to uptown tweeds and pearls).
This past Wednesday, as part of the month-long celebration of The Public’s fiftieth anniversary, Hollywood darling Anne Hathaway appeared in “Perfectly Marvelous,” a sold-out, evening-long performance of songs from the 1966 musical “Cabaret.” A self-admittedly nervous Hathaway managed to impress the very impressive crowd, which included two of the creators of “Cabaret,” the composer John Kander and the librettist Joe Masteroff, as well as a string of Hollywood elite. Shaking off nerves and slipping into the role of Sally Bowles, Hathaway managed to channel—quite convincingly—her inner cabaret singer of 1930s Weimar Germany.
And, speaking of Germany, next week the über-Germanic Ute Lemper is set to perform on October 30th and 31st. Departing from her iconic cabaret tradition of Weimar-era Germany, Lemper is introducing a new creation to the song cycle, setting the love poems of Pablo Neruda to music. Next up, on Thursday, November 1st, comedienne and chanteuse Lady Rizo—the so-called queen of cult “caburlesque”—will be belting out Billboard numbers and timeless scores from the American Songbook in her new show, “unescorted.” If you find yourself unable to say goodbye to Halloween, there’s no better cure than Rizo’s beguiling voice—and equally bewitching eyelashes.
For more information, visit Joe’s Pub for show times and tickets.