Birdland's Summer in the City series goes out with a bang, starting with the Drama Desk Award-winning a cappella group Toxic Audio (August 7), followed by the delicious Nancy Anderson (August 14) and the always brilliant Natalie Douglas (August 21). The stars also shine quite brightly at Joe's Pub, including American Idol heartthrob Constantine Maroulis (August 9), pop singer Jody Watley (August 13), Jersey Boys star Daniel Reichard (August 20-21), the one-and-only Nona Hendryx (Augst 22), the Dirty Martinis with special guest Lea DeLaria (August 24-25), and rising songwriter Jenny Giering (August 28).
Meanwhile, over at Ars Nova, the don't-miss attractions include comedian Tom Shillue (August 4), Broadway stars Kate Reinders and Sarah Litzinger (August 7), Tarzan's wonderful Merle Dandridge (August 8), Tony Award winner Cady Huffman (August 20-21), and the hilarious Wau Wau Sisters (August 24). For more must-see entertaiment, head out to Lorenzo's in Staten Island for Gianni Russo (August 5), the irrepressible Sharon McNight (August 12), and the magnificent Tovah Feldshuh (August 19).
The offerings at Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Café are certainly worth staying in town for. MAC Award winners Tom Andersen, Scott Coulter, and Tim DiPasqua team up for Southern Comfort, a revue of classic country tunes (August 4, 11, 18), fellow MAC winner Lisa Asher debuts Stranded in the Moonlight, devoted to the music of the delightful Michael Smith (August 6, 13, 20, 27); Broadway vets Judy Blazer, Terri Klausner, and Sally Wilfert sing the music of Steve Marzullo (August 7); the ultraenergetic Mark Nadler reprises his acclaimed show Tchaikovsky and Other Russians (August 11); and Sweeney Todd star Lauren Molina goes solo (August 27). Also, the Beechman kicks off a Sunday brunch series with the lovely Barbara Brussell (August 20) and the handsome Marcus Simeone (August 27). And don't forget about the new Friday late night schmoozefest The After Party, co-hosted by Brandon Cuttrell and Alysha Umphress.
Heading outside of the Big Apple, the Westhampton Beach Peforming Arts Center on Long Island plays home to the inimitable Elaine Stritch (August 4), the hysterical Margaret Cho (August 5), country crooner Lyle Lovett (August 12), former teen idol Bobby Vinton (August 20), and the smooth stylings of Manhattan Transfer (August 27). Meanwhile, the charming Bradstan Country Inn in White Lake, New York serves up the superb Karen Mason (August 6), the multi-talented Johnny Rodgers (August 13), and the divine Ann Hampton Callaway (August 20), whose new CD Blues in the Night is being released later this month.
Heading to the West Coast, the historic El Portal Theatre in Los Angeles will host the equally historic Kitty Carlisle Hart in Here's to Life (August 4-6); at Los Angeles City College's Caminito Theatre, you can hear the spirited Kevin Spirtas (August 3), the gleeful Jason Graae (August 4) and the luscious Linda Purl (August 5), while Sterling's Upstairs presents singer/pianist Nelson Kole (August 4-5), Russ Lorenson in his tribute to Tony Bennett (August 11-19), and singer Toni Morrell (August 25-26). Last but by no means least, San Francisco's gorgeous Empire Plush Room will feature Broadway and opera star Julia Migenes in a rare evening of cabaret (August 11-20). I wish I could be there!