Going, Going, Gone.

October 9th, 2012 § 0 comments

Bobby Short and Mabel Mercer are in the Great Golden Cabaret In Heaven. Two New York perennial cabaret venues — Oak Room at the Algonquin and Feinstein’s at the Regency — are closed or about to close. That leaves only the Cafe Carlyle as the last of the sophisticated New York supper clubs. These supper clubs were where the voices and songs of Mabel Mercer, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Harold Arlen and Noel Coward were idolized and celebrated. Where once hip folks of all ages went to those uptown Supper Clubs, the patrons now are increasingly ROF’s (Rich Old Fogeys) — obviously, a diminishing market. According to reports, the supper club scene in New York has shifted downtown with an emphasis on irreverence, drag and transgender performers. In this age of pornographic saturation, the old fashioned, bittersweet, romantic lyric seems a bit old fashioned. During the 50’s and 60’s there were scores of supper clubs in mid-Manhattan. Nelly Lutcher sang earthy tunes. Ted Straeter exemplified world weary sophistication. Spivy (a one name performer like “Hildegarde” and “Liberace”) and Dwight Fiske were queen and king of the double entendre (very tame stuff compared to much of today’s music and stand-up comedy ). HG’s favorite was Laurie Brewis who held forth at the Hotel Earle on Waverly Place in Greenwich Village.

During the 50’s, a date night for HG often consisted of martinis at Jack Delaney’s bar, big platters of seafood paella and a pitcher of sangria at one of the Village’s many good Spanish restaurants, a European movie at the Art movie theater — and then on to Brewis and Earle at midnight. The New Yorker Magazine described Laurie Brewis as “a fey bistro version of Noel Coward,” “The London Edition of the Show Business Encyclopedia” and a “bouncing Englishman playing his London portfolio and bringing back the tunes that everyone but he has forgotten” Laurie Brewis and his Piano. HG, his snifter of cognac, his Marlboro cigarette, his shapely female companion of the evening. Pleasant memories. Needless to say, HG always wore a shirt, tie, well pressed suit and shined shoes during these revels. One dressed to dine and date. Jeans were apparel for plumbers and cowhands.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading Going, Going, Gone. at HUNGRY GERALD.