On Tuesday, June 21, 2011, I entered the world of burlesque cabaret when I attended Lee Chappell's "Cafe Panche" at The Griffin in NYC's Meatpacking District. With it's diverse crowd of gays, straights, drag queens, and glam lovers, the evening features a wide range of talent from cabaret and rock singers to aerialists to drag superstars! This show is performed in what seems like to me, a throw-back to the days of Studio 54/masquerade balls. Placed in the middle of the standing room only crowd are two raised stages where the performers bestow upon us their talent.
Hosted by the strikingly beautiful and extraordinarily talented Shequida, the night brought out Grammy Award Winner Lady Rizo, Award Winning Cabaret singer (and fellow "Call Me Adam" participant) Kim David Smith, as well as Richard Waits. Each performer dazzled the excited and eager crowd with their unique talent and amazing stage presence! Shequida, who's a classically trained opera singer, performed several high energy numbers, using her wit and humor to create her parodied lyrics. Kim David Smith brought his unique style of cabaret where he takes popular songs and sings them in the Weimar-era style. Kim David Smith delighted the audience with his renditions of Kim Wilde's "You Keep Me Hanging On," Edith Piaf's "Padam," and Cher's "Bang Bang" which the crowd immensely enjoyed! Following Kim David Smith was Grammy Award Winner Lady Rizo who mesmerized the crowd with her big belting vocals on "Love Is In The Air," "Je Ne Regrette Rien," and "Toxic/Personal Jesus," while a showgirl let loose to the beat! Richard also wowed the audience with his big numbers such as Prince's "Kiss," while surrounded by several showgirls.
If you are looking for a night out that takes you back to the heyday of dress-up featuring extraordinary talent, then I highly suggest checking out Lee Chappell's "Cafe Panche" at The Griffin every Tuesday at 10pm! The Griffin is located at 50 Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District.