Emerging cabaret singers and works-in-progress are featured in January performances of "The Garrick Gaieties," a series of shows in the Garrick restaurant at New York City's Mayfair Hotel.
The latest "Garrick Gaieties' New Faces of 1999" slate begins Jan. 12 with Alisa Endsley, and subsequently includes a solo singer, a vocal group and an emerging musical comedy. Shows are booked by producer Scott Perrin, who is devoted to presenting new voices in tandem with established headliners in the intimate, wood-paneled, 50-seat space.
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. How does Perrin find a performer like Jan. 12's Alisa Endsley?
"Alisa was submitted to me by an agent," he said. "When I looked into it, she's played Norma Desmond on two continents, and nobody's ever heard who the hell she is! When I see something like that on a resume, that interests me."
Endsley, a onetime understudy for Patti LuPone's Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd. in London, sings 9 PM Jan. 12. The American actress singer made her Broadway debut in Sunset Blvd. and has performed in Los Angeles-area productions.
The close-harmony trio, Eastern Standard Time, using three-part arrangements of classic American pop song of the 1930s, performs 9 PM Jan. 15. The group includes Christopher Howatt, Dana Merritt and Jeanne Robbins.
A new three-character musical, Buck Simple, will be heard in a concert version 9 PM Jan. 17, 24 and 31, 1999. 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.
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 9 PM Jan. 30.
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 a 49th Street restaurant nestled in the Mayfair Hotel, built in 1903 and renovated in 1998.
Perrin is the producer of Off-Broadway's Secrets Every Smart Traveler Should Know and past cabaret shows at places such as Rainbow & Stars.
Cover charge is $10 with a $15 food or drink minimum. For reservations, call (212) 489-8600.
-- By Kenneth Jones