NYC’s Metropolitan Room Leaving Its 22nd Street Location at End of September

The Metropolitan Room, a New York entertainment mainstay since it opened its doors in May 2006, plans to  move to larger and more elegant quarters — including a restaurant, piano bar and two performance rooms —-managing partner Bernie Furshpan announced this week.
“We’re designing our future Metropolitan Room in midtown to be a bigger, better and more flexible venue,” states Furshpan (pictured at left), “but the extensive renovations will take several months to complete.  Happily, when we bid farewell to our current home on September 30, the Metropolitan Room will partner with The Triad on West 72nd Street, sharing its venue until our new spot is ready to open.  This will allow us to present most of our scheduled shows and continue to serve our longtime performers.”

He added, “I can’t thank The Triad enough for supporting us and the cabaret world by lending a hand like this.  We hope the transition period will be brief, and we look forward to announcing the date of the grand opening of the new club and restaurant.”

To celebrate its 11-year residency on West 22nd Street, the club will stage a 24-Hour Performance Marathon featuring scores of its highly praised headliners, starting on the evening of Sunday September 24  continuing straight through the night into the wee hours and all day that Monday until evening.  Admission is $15, good for the duration.  The event recalls the Metropolitan Room’s 60-hour entertainment marathon, in January 2015, that shattered the Guinness World Record for longest variety show ever. The club’s last performances at 34 West 22nd Street will be on Saturday September 30, with three shows and its downstairs piano bar, a casual “sing or listen” event that happens each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Known as a prime launchpad for emerging talents in jazz and cabaret, as well as a showplace for a range of established artists in the theatre, film or television, the club was dubbed “the best of New York’s smaller clubs” by The New York Times’s Stephen Holden. The Metropolitan Room has recently been home to Ed Asner, Leslie Jordan, Tom Wopat and regular headliner Baby Jane Dexter.  Other Broadway actors who have had major engagements at the club include Liz Callaway, Vivian Reed, Linda Lavin and Euan Morton.  Actress Sheryl Lee Ralph appeared at the venue this month in a benefit for her DIVA Foundation. The Metropolitan Room is also celebrated for re-introducing nightclub legend Marilyn Maye to New York audiences after a 15-year hiatus, and helped bring British singing sensation Barb Jungr to the attention of New York audiences.  Other notables who performed there include singers Annie Ross (a years-long weekly gig), Penny Fuller, Anita GilletteKaren Wyman, Stacy Sullivan and Julie Budd, with ongoing series such as the Cabaret Cares benefits, Gone Too Soon tributes to stars who died young,  It’s Only a Number, hosted by Bobbie Horowitz, honoring people of accomplishment over 50, Open Mic at the Met, the This Is Your Night! salutes to folks in the cabaret community (including this website’s owner-publisher Scott Barbarino) and a variety show hosted by the late Dana Lorge.  Opening with Lennie Watts as booking manager, the night spot opened with an engagement by singer-pianist Billy Stritch with a Mel Tormé tribute, followed by Terese Genecco with a tribute to Frances Faye.

The club’s famed annual MetroStar Talent Challenge — the singing contest that helped propel prior winners such as T. Oliver Reid and Marissa Mulder to public recognition, is currently running at the Metropolitan Room.  The 2017 contest — the 10th annual edition — plays Mondays at 6:30 PM through August 21. 

Photo Credit: Stephen Sorokoff