By ROB LESTER**** Our website’s description, Where Broadway Meets Cabaret, suits T. Oliver Reid to a “T.” He has a Beach Cafe cabaret gig this week and was just cast in his 10th Broadway show. He sings Cole Porter on
Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights (August 10, 11, 12 — 9:15 PM shows) on the Upper East Side at The Beach Cafe (corner of Second Avenue and East 70 Street). The Porter material sung by Bobby Short on record and in person are the specific songs from which Mr. Reid takes his cue. And you can take the Q, too —the Q subway line, that is, to get to this restaurant/bar which just added music a couple of weeks ago, with the cream of Cole already sampled in a series of their own three-night stands led off by Mark Nadler, who also books the room. Reservations made in advance save you $10 compared to just showing up; cover charge paid ahead is $20 at tables or $10 to reserve one of the several bar seats. Wherever you are sitting, there is a $20 food/drink minimum.
And while we’re on the subject of Q, the multi-faceted music man is also on a recent CD cast recording called Just One ‘Q’ —the Q in question is the Q tile in a game of Scrabble! Also filed under “Q” was an appearance among his many nights in cabaret rooms was in the Q Talk variety/talk show created by Joseph Macchia (now revived at Don’t Tell Mama). T. Oliver Reid first came to the attention of most cabaret room attendees when he competed in the annual MetroStar Talent Challenge, the annual summer-long singing contest at the Metropolitan Room. I was a judge that year, and remember watching him become more and more a cabaret singer. And, as it turned out, he won the grand prize and was presented by the club in his own show. In 2012, he won the Manhattan Association of Cabarets and Clubs’ Award in the Male Debut category, and the very next year he snagged the 3, he won the MAC Award in the Male Vocalist category.
T. Oliver Reid will soon turn his attention and time to starting rehearsals for yet another Broadway show; it’s just been announced that he’s going to be one of the 13 cast members of the upcoming revival of Once on This Island, directed by Michael Arden. The charming show has a score by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens, currently represented on Broadway by Anastasia. Circle in the Square will be the theatre; previews begin in November. It’s hardly his first assignment in a Broadway musical revival, having been in the companies of Follies, Chicago, La Cage aux Folles and Kiss Me, Kate. The latest was the recently-closed Sunset Boulevard.
Five and a half years ago, T. Oliver released his CD on the Yellow Sound Label, Do I Love You. Its title song is a Cole Porter number from the 1939 musical DuBarry Was a Lady. The disc is full of standards and pop, and his live shows at venues like the original Feinstein’s at the Loews Regency and Feinstein’s/54 Below have surveyed aspects of music history from Harlem night clubs to Americana. He’ll be among those singing the Gershwins’ songbook at the Cabaret Convention this October in a night co-hosted by Jeff Harnar, who preceded him in the Cole Porter series last week at The Beach Cafe. He’s played outside New York, too, at such places at the Colony in Palm Beach, Florida.
Once, on this island — the island of Manhattan, that is — T. Oliver Reid came, he saw, he conquered. For reservations for his shows this week, see www.TheBeachCafe.com