The Pierre Hotel celebrates Best of Broadway, a monthly cabaret series in the Two E Bar & Lounge.
by Linda Amiel Burns
Photos: Magda Katz
The Pierre Hotel teamed up with award-winning Broadway Sings For Pride creative director Neal Bennington last fall to launch a monthly series with some of Broadway’s brightest stars at the Two E Bar & Lounge. This room was originally the Gentlemen’s Library when the hotel opened in 1930. Broadway Sings For Pride is a non-for-profit charitable organization that brings together Broadway talent, activists and celebrities to promote LGBT equality through song, public education and raising awareness of the needs of LGBTQ youth. According to Mr. Bennington, “The Pierre and Broadway are both iconic New York staples and I am thrilled to be partnering with this legendary hotel to bring the magic of Broadway to their guests.”
On January 24, 2018, the show featured three performers: Dan Domenech (Rock of Ages, Kinky Boots,TV’s Glee), Antoine L. Smith (Miss Saigon, Color Purple, the upcoming Carousel revival) and N’Kenge (Motown: The Musical, Sondheim on Sondheim). They were backed by pianist and musical director Chris Curcio. According to General Manager Francois-Olivier Luiggi, the Pierre has a long history of bringing fine entertainment to the public. ”Broadway At The Pierre gives fans the opportunity to spend an evening with some of musical theater’s brightest stars in an intimate setting. The response that we have received to the series so far has been fantastic.”
The grand piano was off to the side and a small stage was set up in front of the bar with three stools. Neal introduced Dan and Antoine who came on stage, talked about their careers and sang a few numbers. Dan, a handsome young man, opened his set with a wistful “I’d Rather Be Sailing” and “Every Rose Has It’s Thorns” from Rock of Ages. Antoine, has a strong presence, performed a song from Big River, and from The Buddy Holly Story “Johnny Be Good.” N’Kenge entered in a beautiful sequined gown and sang Cab Calloway’s “Minnie The Moocher.” From a self-penned musical based on the life of Dorothy Dandridge, she offered “That’s Love.” Her Encore, was Effie’s song from Dreamgirls, “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” which was well delivered but quite intense and loud for this intimate setting. Antoine closed with the classic “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from upcoming Carousel revival with Renee Fleming now in rehearsal. All three are seasoned and talented Broadway singers and it was a treat to see and hear them upfront and personal.
Kudos to all involved in creating this room and series featuring live entertainment. The cast for the February show will be announced on January 31st. Upcoming shows will feature cast members from School of Rock (March 21st) and Disney’s Aladdin (April TBD).
Broadway At The Pierre is a recurring series. Performances begin at 8:30pm and doors open at 7:30pm. $75 food and beverage minimum includes admission, a, Welcome Drink, a set menu which is a “light” dinner with small bites. There are “add-ons” for an additional cost if you are still hungry.
Advance reservations required. To reserve a table, please visit Two E on Open Table, call 212-940-8113 or email TwoE@tajhotels.com.
The Pierre is located at 2 East 61st Street off 5th Avenue/.