One of cabaret’s most famous champions is about to forge a new collaboration with one of its most storied venues, and end his association with another.
On Oct. 11-22, Michael Feinstein will perform a series of shows marking a new relationship with Café Carlyle, the Upper East Side room renowned for its association with Bobby Short. Since opening in 1955, the Carlyle has hosted generations of cabaret fixtures and aspirants, from Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch to the “American Idol” hopeful Katharine McPhee and the designer Isaac Mizrahi.
The new arrangement will mark the end of Feinstein’s creative partnership with 54 Below, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. Feinstein, a historian and archivist as well as a performer and entrepreneur, had joined forces with the younger venue, which bills itself as “Broadway’s living room,” in 2015; Feinstein’s/54 Below was the recipient of an honor as part of the Tony Awards last month. Before that, he was affiliated with another hotel not far from the Carlyle; Feinstein’s at the Regency closed in 2013.
“I’m excited for 54 Below and their future and for my future and the future of my brand,” Feinstein told The Times. “I’ve been thinking about a move for two years now. I’ve accomplished everything I had envisioned with Feinstein’s/54 Below and I felt like it was time to make a change. How do you top a Tony Honors? You do it by joining forces with Café Carlyle, the most prestigious nightclub in the world. I couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Feinstein’s October shows will be his first ever at the Carlyle; he is expected to perform more engagements there in the future.
In a joint statement, the 54 Below partners Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel and Steven Baruch said, “We’ve enjoyed our six-year relationship with Michael and wish him well at the Café Carlyle. We decided several months ago that we would be returning to our original name of 54 Below and shared that information with him and his management. We look forward to what the next 10 years hold for 54 Below and bringing to Broadway’s living room more brilliant new artists and legendary performers.”
Café Carlyle will not adjust its name. In a statement, Marlene Poynder, the managing director of the Carlyle Hotel, said the venue is looking forward to “adding the Feinstein name to the Café Carlyle legacy.”