54 Below opens the fall season with Christine Ebersole, who has entranced Broadway audiences with Tony-winning performances in 42nd Street and Grey Gardens. Those who have seen Ebersole's previous nightclub appearances, though, can attest that she is positively luminescent in a cabaret setting. Her first new show in two years, Sept. 8–20, will range from pop to Broadway, with a few standards and jazz tunes in between.
Randy Graff, another Tony winner (City of Angels), will return with Made in Brooklyn… Revisited, based on her recent act, but mixing in some songs written by folks who, like Graff, hail from the borough across the bridge. Which is a not undistinguished lot, including names like Gershwin, Comden, Manilow and Carole King. Graff is in for three Tuesdays, starting Sept. 23.
On Sept. 29 comes Heléne Yorke, who added unexpected sparkle as showgirl Olive Neal in the recently departed Bullets Over Broadway. Yorke will bring her act, My Blossom Dearie, paying tribute to the eponymous jazz singer and pianist.
For a special-sounding fall event, head over to Avery Fisher Hall, Sept. 19–20, when the Philharmonic will present Charlie Chaplin's Modern Times: The Tramp at 100. The classic film, starring Chaplin and Paulette Goddard, will be projected on an extra-large screen and accompanied by the New York Philharmonic playing the original score of this almost-silent 1936 classic. (The score was composed by Chaplin, who also wrote, directed, produced and starred in the film.) This month will also see two intriguing stars making their Café Carlyle debuts. Jeff Goldblum (of Broadway's Pillowman and Hollywood's "Jurassic Park") comes in Sept. 16–20, bringing along his own jazz band, The Mildred Snitzer Orchestra. Next up: Rita Wilson ("Sleepless in Seattle," "The Good Wife"), Sept. 24–Oct. 4). Best known as an actress, Wilson began her career as a songwriter and has a new recording scheduled for this winter.
It's a busy month over at the 92nd St. Y. Sept. 8 will be The O'Neill Center: 50 Years of Creating American Theater. O'Neill artistic directors Wendy Goldberg (of the Playwrights Conference) and Paulette Haupt (of the Music Theatre Conference) will examine the O'Neill's role as a theatrical lab with output including such titles as Fences, Nine and Avenue Q.
A day later comes The Music of Jerome Kern, from musicologist Harvey Granat and pianist David Lahm. The latter has a more than peripheral connection with the Kern catalogue; some of the greatest songs therein ("Lovely to Look At," "Pick Yourself Up," "A Fine Romance" and Oscar winner "The Way You Look Tonight") have lyrics by Lahm's mother, Dorothy Fields.
Two of Broadway's most hilarious and talented actors, Nathan Lane and Andrea Martin, come together to chat about the latter's new memoir, "Andrea Martin's Lady Parts." With four Tony Awards and decades of showbusiness between them, expect lots of dish, wisdom, and of course, laughter Sept. 14.