Beach Café: There’s a New Cabaret Room in Town!

| July 16, 2017

Beach Café:
There’s a New Cabaret Room in Town!

July 18, 2017

By Alix Cohen for Cabaret Scenes

“You no longer have to go to the Hamptons to enjoy weekends at the Beach!!” — Mark Nadler

Rising like a phoenix from the Second Avenue Subway ashes, the venerable Beach Café (1326 Second Avenue at 70th Street) will spread its wings to add weekend cabaret starting July 27, 2017. Owner and long-time neighborhood resident Dave Goodside observed The Upper East Side had no real music venue but the prohibitive-for-many Carlyle and Bemelmans Bar. Perhaps a piano was just the thing to offer loyal clientele, bring in new friends, and take the neighborhood hang-out to another level.

Goodside approached KT Sullivan asking for advice. To the Artistic Director of The Mabel Mercer Foundation, the words “piano” and “Nadler” went together like ham ‘n’ eggs. She suggested he speak with veteran entertainer Mark Nadler. Having left piano bars behind years ago, the artist was interested in creating a different kind of cabaret room. With Goodside’s commitment and resources, this is exactly what’s happening.

Nadler’s vision is to begin by presenting musicians and vocalists whose stature once secured appearances at the famed Oak Room at The Algonquin Hotel, Feinstein’s at The Loews Regency, and Café Carlyle itself. (Later, he’ll selectively introduce less well-known talent.) This small, hospitable café offers the kind of real intimacy on which the art is based. There’s no need to crane your neck in the gracious venue (neither tables nor elbows butts one another), and a tilted mirror (clever) is planned above the keyboard of a brand new Yamaha Piano. (The Oak Room boasted a Yamaha.)

It turns out Goodside is not only an imaginative businessman, but an audiophile. Attention to a newly installed sound system is sure to please performers and audience alike—as will regular tuning of the top-notch instrument monitored by Nadler’s perfect pitch. Well- engineered, unfussy stage area lights are being set; fresh white tablecloths were brought in to up the tone. In addition, and this is big news, taking into consideration food and drink service during shows, the Beach Café will be the first in New York to install silent, wireless waiter calls (buttons) on each table which signal the desire to order or receive the check in the most unobtrusive way possible.

All of this is can be enjoyed Thursdays through Saturdays at a startling $20 cover, $20 minimum ($10 and $5 at the bar) if reserved (yes, bar seats can be reserved) and $30 or $15 walk-in at the door, a fraction of the cost one might’ve paid back then and would pay now in any number of clubs. For the 11:15 show, entrance goes down to a flat $10 at tables, $5 at the bar. At the start, looser 11:15 shindigs will spotlight the talented, unpredictable Nadler. (The kitchen will remain open.)

The roster of August/September early shows is wryly titled Cole and Slaw at the Beach—meaning either Cole Porter or mash-up evenings of songs. Nadler kicks it off with Cole Porter After Dark July 27-29 at 9:15, followed by Mark Nadler’s Beach Party at 11:15 each evening.

Vocalists to follow:

Jeff Harnar: Easy to Love: the Words and Music of Cole Porter 8/3-5
T. Oliver Reid: Bobby and Cole…the Singer and the Songs (Bobby Short and Cole Porter) 8/10-12
Heather Mac Rae: Use Your Imagination 8/17-19
Karen Akers: Akers Sings Porter: Anything Goes 8/24-26
Rex Reed: Rex Reed Holds Court– an evening of songs and stories 9/7-9

Stacy Sullivan: The Sultry Side of Cole, a brand new “deconstructed” Porter show acknowledging the writer’s classical roots 9/14-16
Karen Akers: a reconceived Time Flies 9/21-23
Christine Andreas: Love Is Good  9/28-30

Mark Nadler’s Late Night Beach Party continues with late shows.

Nadler and Goodside hope to create a room that’s comfortable, affordable, and filled with ambience—the kind of venue into which one might drop, confident any performer will be worth seeing — a destination. If enthusiasm, taste, and meticulous preparation count, prospects look good.

At a spry 49 years old, Lady Beach is learning new tricks. – click on Cabaret

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Category: Alix Cohen, Blog, Cabaret Features, New York City, New York City Cabaret Features, Regional

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