South Florida music lovers can get a sophisticated taste of the Big Apple each month at Cabaret du Jour, a new cabaret series debuting this weekend at the Tennis Club in Fort Lauderdale.
Internationally-acclaimed cabaret artist David Meulemans and his husband, Ken Harrison, promise audiences an intimate experience similar to New York clubs like the famed Metropolitan Room, where Meulemans serves as artist-in-residence.
“Things are done with class and style and a little elegance,” Meulemans said, “rather than a loud evening in a bar.”
Guests will enjoy small plates and cocktails prepared by Stork’s Catering & Events and served by waiters in the condo complex’s club room.
For the first performance, Meulemans and Harrison assembled an all-star lineup of local talent, including Jennifer McClain, Meri Ziev and Kelly DiLorenzo. Musical direction will be provided by Phil Hinton.
McClain is well known to Wilton Manors audiences for her weekly performances at Georgie’s Alibi/Monkey Bar and Ziev and DiLorenzo are both from Boca Raton, members of the cast of the sold out Lake Worth Playhouse production of “Sisters of Swing.” They will be joined by Kelly O’Farrell, a Broadway veteran, who will be flying in from Boston for the performance.
Harrison said the concept for Cabaret du Jour was a play on the French soup du jour or soup of the day served at restaurants. Each month’s program will be different, featuring new performers and musical numbers. The producers hope to add a second performance each month and are also exploring the possibilities of happy hour entertainment on Fridays.
In August, the series will feature Carla Gordon, a performer from Chicago who performs as the great Jewish vaudeville, radio and film star Sophie Tucker. Next year, Meulemans will be touring with Gordon in an act called “Borscht Belt Buddies,” accompanied by a musical director who performed on the famed circuit as a young man.
Meulemans, who leaves on another tour of England next week, is particularly looking forward to the opportunity to perform in South Florida.
“It’s been a lesson to learn that my value as a performer goes up when I have credits from elsewhere,” he said. “That’s why for the last three years I focused on working in Europe and New York.”
Now he’s bringing a little bit of New York back home.