One of the most famous cabaret champions is about to start a new partnership with one of the most legendary stages and end his partnership with another.
On October 11-22, Michael Feinstein will perform a series of shows that will mark a new relationship with Café Carlyle, the Upper East Side room known for its association with Bobby Short. Since opening in 1955, the Carlyle has hosted generations of cabaret luminaries and aspirants, from Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch to the hopeful “American Idol” Katharine McPhee and the designer Isaac Mizrahi.
The new arrangement marks the end of Feinstein’s creative partnership with 54 Below, which celebrated its 10th anniversary in June. A historian and archivist, as well as an artist and entrepreneur, Feinstein had joined forces in 2015 with the younger venue, which bills itself as “Broadway’s living room”; Feinstein’s/54 Below received an honor as part of the Tony Awards last month. Before that he was attached to 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 moving for two years now. I accomplished everything I imagined with Feinstein’s/54 Below and I felt like it was time to make a change. How do you beat a Tony Honors? You do this by joining forces with Café Carlyle, the most prestigious nightclub in the world. I couldn’t be happier.”
Feinstein’s October shows will be his first ever at the Carlyle; he is expected to carry out more assignments there in the future.
In a joint statement, 54 Below partners Richard Frankel, Tom Viertel and Steven Baruch said: “We have enjoyed our six-year relationship with Michael and wish him all the best at Café Carlyle. We decided a few months ago that we would revert to our original name 54 Below and shared that information with him and his management. We look forward to what the next 10 years have in store for 54 Below and to bring even more brilliant new artists and legendary performers to Broadway.”
Café Carlyle will not change its name. In a statement, Marlene Poynder, the director of the Rosewood Hotel Group, which also includes the Carlyle Hotel, said the venue is looking forward to “adding the Feinstein name to Café Carlyle’s legacy.”