Since Le Chat Noir shut its doors two years ago, no venue in New Orleans has risen up to fill the cabaret void. However, Mid-City Theatre is making an all-out effort in March, when 20 nights of cabaret-style entertainment will be presented by some of the top singers, musicians and comedians on the local scene.
Su Gonczy, formerly theater operations manager at Le Chat Noir and the general manager at Mid-City, is at the helm of Cabaret Month.
“It’s something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I arrived here and I’m really excited about finally doing it,” Gonczy said. “I’ve been talking to people who miss what we had going at Le Chat and I’ve been getting a lot of encouragement from them.”
With more than 20 years in the entertainment presentation business, Gonczy has handled nearly every facet of it — from management and booking to ticket sales and audiovisual. She credits Mid-City owner Fred Nuccio for “giving me free rein” and added the possibility that it might become an annual event.
The lineup for Cabaret Month at Mid-City Theatre:
MARCH 1: “The Quarter Rat Pack” starring Marshall Harris, Jason George and Robert Facio, with Jim Walpole on piano. Three New Orleans buddies who performed together in the past reunite after their day jobs take them away from their first love of stage life. 8 p.m.
MARCH 2: “My Funny Valentine.” Jennifer Blades sings the songs of Arlen, the Gershwins, Rodgers & Hart, Weill and others. 8 p.m.
MARCH 3: “Love Love Love (Yeah Yeah Yeah).” Amy Alvarez and Roland “Butch Caire” present the best of The Beatles with new interpretations and narrative. 6 p.m.
MARCH 4: Open Mic Night. An opportunity for undiscovered singers, actors, comedians and other entertainers to be seen, heard and (hopefully) “discovered.” 7 p.m.
MARCH 5-6: “Lola Falana Showgirl.” Sultry chanteuse Anais St. John presents her new show featuring the songs of “The First Lady of Las Vegas.” 8 p.m.
MARCH 8: “Banu Gibson, Chick Singer. Tales from the Bandstand.” Classics from the Great American Songbook and stories of her experiences leading a band. 8 p.m.
MARCH 9: Harry Mayronne’s “Red Hot Blue Notes.” Featuring Harry Mayronne on piano (and with his marionettes) and Dorian Rush on vocals. 8 p.m.
MARCH 10: “Soiree Edith Piaf.” M.I. Scoggin sings the tunes of French-born stylist Edith Piaf, accompanied by Dr. Will Robichaux. 6 p.m.
MARCH 11-12: “3x3 The One-Acts.” Three one-act plays each night by three New Orleans playwrights, all with a cabaret theme. 7:30 p.m.
MARCH 13: “Debauchery.” Pat Bourgeois’ “live theatre soap opera” presented this month in musical format. 7:30 p.m.
MARCH 15-17: “A Running with Scissors Cabaret.” Cute and naughty entertainment, starring the Running with Scissors Ensemble. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m.; Sunday, 6 p.m.
MARCH 19: “From Berlin to Broadway.” Bremner Duthie sings the cabaret songs of Kurt Weill, with Harry Mayronne on piano. 8 p.m.
MARCH 20: “An Evening with Rich Look.” Singer/storyteller Rich Look performs the works of Carmichael, Porter, Randy Newman and others, with Tim Paco on tuba and Ricky Sebastian on drums. 8 p.m.
MARCH 21: “The Songs of Hal David.” Singers Wanda Rouzan and Leah Chase and pianist/vocalist Philip Melancon pay tribute to the recently deceased composer (with Burt Bacharach) of multiple hit songs. 8 p.m.
MARCH 21-23: “Lisa Sings Lee.” Lisa Picone pays tribute to the hit songs of Peggy Lee, accompanied by Jesse Reeks. 8 p.m.
Ticket prices vary for the shows. Check with the theater for individual shows. Seating is a combination of cabaret and theater styles with several rows of tables of two to four seats each.
Reservations may be made for parties of more than four, and tables can be combined. Call (504) 488-1460 to discuss seating arrangements.