The close-harmony group, Eastern Standard Time, is the latest booking in the "Garrick Gaieties New Faces of '99" lineup at the Mayfair Hotel in New York City.
The trio, Christopher Howatt, Dana Merritt and Jeanne Robbins, will sing three-part arrangements of classic American pop songs and show tunes of the 1930s and '40s at 9 PM and (just added) 11 PM Jan. 15 at the Garrick restaurant, a recently-restored 50-seat space within the Mayfair on 49th Street.
Emerging cabaret singers and works-in-progress are featured in January performances of "The Garrick Gaieties." Shows are booked by producer Scott Perrin (Off-Broadway's Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know), who is devoted to presenting new voices in tandem with established headliners in the intimate, wood-paneled room. Perrin told Playbill On-Line (Jan. 12) he finds lesser-known artists by scouring clubs, getting pitched by agents and performers, and by simply keeping his ear to the ground.
"There are certain performers everybody has seen," Perrin said. "We're trying hard to do something new." The "Gaieties" borrows its name from the classic 1920s Broadway revues that introduced newcomer Richard Rodgers.
Cover charge is $10 with a $15 food or drink minimum. For reservations, call (212) 489-8600.
Also on the January slate:
*A new three-character musical, Buck Simple, will be heard in a concert version 9 PM Jan. 17, 24 and 31 at the Garrick. The fictional tale recounts the life of Buck Harwood and Lois O'Dare, mythical stars from the 1950s. Actor-author Craig Fols, seen in Primary Stages' Nasty Little Secrets, stars along with Josie DeGuzman (Bway's Guys and Dolls) and Ray DeMattis (Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know).
Buck Simple's music and lyrics are by Larry Bortniker, a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.
*Singer Robin Baxter, who just completed a run as Mrs. Cratchit in Madison Square Garden's A Christmas Carol, performs there 9 PM Jan. 30.
*Original Rent cast member David Driver sings with a keyboards, bass and horns in a show called "Lost Songs From Great Films," including work by Gershwin, Ellington, Mancini, Porter and Bacharach. Films represented in the 9 PM Jan. 29 show include "Imitation of Life," "Torch Song," "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and more.
Producer Perrin began presenting Garrick performances Dec. 1, 1998. He said that because January is a slower month for cabaret business, he will wait until February to book headliners at the Garrick. In February, "new faces" artists will likely sing on Sundays only, while headliners take the Tuesday-Sunday spot, he said.
In December 1998 the established singers ("headliners," if you will) Claiborne Cary and Phillip Officer teamed for a holiday cabaret show.
The Garrick is at 242 49th Street. The Mayfair Hotel was built in 1903 and renovated in 1998.
-- By Kenneth Jones