07.17.09: Nouvelle Époque Cabaret-Salon
The Players private club, 16 Gramercy Park S bet Park Ave S & Irving Pl, 21+ | Facebook
La Belle Époque was a time of artistic and intellectual abandon. Painters, poets, philosophers, and the cleverest of rogues mingled at cabarets and salons to indulge in the bohemian sensuality of the creative life. The connoisseurs of art, thought, and expression celebrated the tumult of the age in high class and with impeccable style. We hope to inspire you to do the same on this special night in one of the true jewels of NYC.
The legendary Players, boasting such luminary members as Mark Twain, Eugene O'Neill and Ernest Hemingway, is a members-only social club founded by the famed 19th century Shakespearean actor Edwin Booth. The Players' landmarked home is a magnificent Victorian mansion with a wrought-iron balcony overlooking Gramercy Park.
The Slipper Room's illustrious owner James Habacker presents (and hosts, in guise of Chester Mackerel, charming professor of abnormal psychology), a night of exuberant entertainment to ignite the senses. JC Hopkins' Biggish Band plays rollicking hard bop swing all night featuring guest vocalists tap-dancing sensation DeWitt Fleming Jr, velvet-voiced Jolie Holland, and Tony-nominated downtown icon Justin Bond, in addition to JC's resident front-woman Queen Esther. The always-surprising Julie Atlas Muz (Miss Exotic World 2006), the jaw-droppingly stylish MsTickle, and hilariously naughty Trixie Little & Evil Hate Monkey perform feats of burlesque to live accompaniment by the band all night. In band breaks, 1920s tap sensation The Minsky Sisters amuse and titillate you. The cabaret runs 9pm-1am in the formal Dining Room, preceded at 8:30pm by a complimentary dance class. After the cabaret, DJ Shakey spins a most unique mix of vintage + modern beats to keep you dancing.
After 9pm, the Sargent Room across The Great Hall, named after its three John Singer Sargent portraits (he was an early member), is your salon for cocktails and conversations, as jazz pianist Jesse Gelber sets the elegant mood. A custom cocktail menu will be crafted for Nouvelle Époque by swanky lifestyle guru Fredo Ceraso of Loungerati.com.
The Sargent Room and its park-facing balcony are reserved for VIP guests 7-9pm for a cocktail reception and a private performance by San Francisco opera diva Marisa Lenhardt, as stylish cigarette girls treat you to hand-rolled cigars and hand-dipped chocolates, courtesy of Velvet Cigars and Desserts by Michael Allen.
Belle Epoque - late 1800s to WWI, black tie + evening glamour, speakeasy + cabaret, top hats + tails, feathers + gloves, outdo yourself at your most fabulous.
More on our artists below:
More on our Nouvelle Époque artists:
Live musical entertainment all night!
Big(gish) band swing: JC Hopkins' Biggish Band
With original songs rooted in big band jazz, be-bop, and the classic American Songbook, JC Hopkins has drawn comparisons to Mose Allison and Van Dyke Parks for his clever turns of phrase and elegant arrangements. JC Hopkins' Biggish Band creates that special alchemy of Americana jazz - something akin to Irving Berlin conducting a Moondog street symphony - that sounds simultaneously bold and classic, sophisticated and searching. Singers as diverse as Norah Jones, Martha Wainwright, Jolie Holland and Madeleine Peyroux (who co-wrote four songs on the band's album "Underneath A Brooklyn Moon"), and now Queen Esther have fronted the band. The band's live sound is a rollicking, swinging free-for-all, an inheritance of Mingus and Basie.
"Hopkins writes swinging material tailor made for a vacuum-tube radio, and it's delivered with a timeless flair by the lead singer, Queen Esther." - The New Yorker. "Check them out, so you can say you saw them when they were merely biggish, as opposed to huge!" - Time Out New York
Jazz piano: Jesse Gelber
Jesse Gelber holds a Master's in jazz theory from Rutgers University and a Bachelor's in jazz performance and composition from the New England Conservatory of Music. Jesse has lectured at the Music Theory Society of New York State, taught seminars on the history of jazz and blues piano at the National Guitar Workshop, and led courses on music theory at Rutgers University. Despite Jesse's academic background his music tends to be melodic and memorable. His work has been sung and played by Theodore Bikel, Hal Linden, and The Massachusetts Springfield Symphony. He won a 1997 ASCAP Foundation--Morton Gould Young Composer Award for his opera "Broad Stripes and Bright Stars," which was showcased at La MaMa theater in 2002. Jesse can be seeing playing around town with hot vaudevillian musical comedy act Gelber & Manning, and G&S' favorites Michael Arenella & The Dreamland Orchestra.
Special guest vocalists!
Singer-songwriter Martha Wainwright is the daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle, and the sister of Rufus Wainwright. She has frequently appeared on recordings by her family members, and has released several independent EPs. Her full length self-titled debut was released in 2005 by Drowned in Sound, followed in 2008 by "I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too."
Best known as "Kiki," Justin Bond was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event for Kiki & Herb: Alive on Broadway, and has also received Obie, Bessie, and Ethyl Eichelberger Awards. He has also performed in Sinderella with the Tiger Lilies, appeared in the variety show Lustre, and regularly emcees the performance series Weimar New York. His film credits include Shortbus and Imaginary Heroes.
Of folk soul diva Jolie Holland, Rolling Stone says, "Jolie Holland's voice is a thing of wonder, languorous but with a sweetness that makes even the saddest sentiment comforting." ANTI- labelmates Tom Waits and Sage Francis are both outspoken fans of Holland's: Waits nominated her for the Shortlist music prize while Francis has said that Holland's album Escondida was his most listened to album of 2005.
Of jazz tap virtuoso DeWitt Fleming Jr, the NY Times says, "Mr. Fleming's solo was yet more astounding because he was always changing his inflections, his meter, his shading. He never left us in any groove remotely long enough for us to know where we were. The only moment I can single out was when, in profile to us, he briefly extended alternate feet, like a ballet dancer's toe-pointings, and tapped them: left cascade, right cascade, left. ... But then he moved on, refusing to be predictable, and remaining wholly authoritative."
MsTickle is the Style Queen of burlesque: a stylist and creator of dance and burlesque costumes, gimmicks and gags; assistant stylist for Marc Jacobs Xmas parties and other special events; costume designer for Norman's Big Night Out; designer/writer/director of Mantasia; costume designer for The Bombshell Girls. You may also recognize her as the poster-girl for Nouvelle Époque!
Julie Atlas Muz, one of the most acclaimed and prolific conceptual performers and choreographers in New York, sucker punches the boundaries between performance art, dance and burlesque with dark, twisted, come-hither performances that have secured her place in the underworld of nightlife as well as the bastion of the art world. Muz has presented her work at PS 122, HERE, The Performing Garage, St. Anne's Warehouse, chashama, LaMama, The Kitchen, and Dixon Place. Muz has been awarded Artist-in-Residency status from Chashama, Joyce Soho, Dixon Place and Movement Research Artist-in-Residence. She is also 2006 Miss Exotic World winner, 2004 Whitney Biennial Artist and a 2005 Valencia Bienal Artist.
Mixing years of high level circus training, brilliant comedy and electric onstage chemistry, Trixie and Monkey showcase trapeze, striptease, acrobatics and physical comedy in jaw-dropping burlesque, cabaret, variety and theater shows. Shamelessly eccentric and wildly photogenic, Trixie and Monkey were featured in the premiere episode of "The Gong Show with Dave Attel" on Comedy Central and in the fourth season of "America's Got Talent." This talented twosome has also performed with John Waters, The Flaming Lips, three consecutive Virgin Music Festivals, Rothbury Music Festival, the Philly, DC and Brighton, England Fringe Festivals and are the winners of Las Vegas' 2006 Exotic World Best Burlesque Duo trophy.
Tittilating tap dancing: The Minsky Sisters
Introducing 1920s tap sensation the Minsky Sisters! Taking their lead from Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and Anita Berber to the tunes of jazz greats, like Cab Calloway and King Oliver, the Minsky Sisters have been scandalizing the international tap community for two years with their sensational brand of brisk and brilliantly beautiful tap majesty. As resident tappers for NYC club Dances of Vice, the tap mavens continuously bring their excellence to ever greater audiences.
Operatic diva: Marisa Lenhardt
Diva Marisa is a maverick singer and performer based in the San Francisco Bay Area with a dramatic coloratura voice that soars with ease into the stratosphere one moment, and plummets to the rich depths of sonority the next. Marisa has had success in the traditional operatic realm, singing with the San Francisco Opera, the Oakland East Bay Symphony, and Chris Brubeck, while performing multiple times in recital with world-famous mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade. Not one to stay cloistered in the classical world, Marisa has also performed before before 60,000 rabid Raiders fans at the Oakland Coliseum. For the unveiling of the Champ Car at the San Jose City Hall, she rode her motorcycle down the steps and whipped off her helmet before singing. At the Burning Man festival in Nevada, she enchanted the hushed crowds at David Best's ceremonial temple burns from 2002 to 2007, and also rides a zipline into the rough and tumble Thunderdome before performing her own composition of operatic vocal pyrotechnics.
Your charming host: Chester Mackerel
James Habacker has been performing his unique style of comedy for the last fifteen years. He is also the founder and artistic director of the Slipper Room, which has shaped the New York burlesque scene for the past ten years. He will be hosting this show at The Players in the guise of Chester Mackerel: charming Columbia professor of abnormal psychology by day, by night he trolls the downtown scene in search of the sublime as it manifests itself in the louche.
Jazz swingin' beats: DJ Shakey
DJ Shakey, aka Julie Covello, has been a professional nightclub / mobile disc jockey / wedding dj for over 14 years. She is also a record collector, music consultant, and veteran of the music video industry. She specializes in diverse music, music in media, dance parties, and special concepts. Her music collection includes over 9000 vinyl recordings and cds. She is a party co-ordinator, promoter, experienced host, and has performed on radio, internet, and television broadcasts.
And extra special FREE treats!
Swingin' dance class @ 8:30pm by Spencer of
New York City Swing Dance Meetup Group
New York City Swing Dance is Meetup's largest and most active swing dance group whose members love going out, dancing, and socializing. The experience levels of our members range from beginner to advanced. Types of swing dance include East Coast, Lindy Hop, and West Coast.
Hand-dipped chocolates by Michael Allen (VIP reception)
New York Magazine says: "Former Water's Edge and United Nations pastry chef Michael Allen has been bringing desserts of all stripes and freshly-baked bread to a stretch of Fulton better known for bodegas and dollar stores since November 2008...Traditional French pastries and desserts are a highlight (the tart lemon macaron is especially nice), but the bakery also features arguably the best cupcakes in Clinton Hill: dense cakes topped with an airy frosting. A variety of cakes, pies, and, during the holidays, gingerbread houses, are available by special order."
Hand-rolled cigars by Velvet Cigar Lounge (VIP reception)
It only takes one visit to experience why the Velvet Cigar Lounge has become a favorite for so many. Simple in design and in execution, Velvet captures the laid back feel of Manhattan's East Village, creating a unique and welcoming atmosphere found no where else. As a BYO location, it's an affordable night out and a chance to enjoy our boutique line of handrolled Dominican cigars with your favorite beverage. So whether you're a connoisseur of cigars or just interested in a new, unique experience, stop by for a visit.