For decades, Miami Beach has been the destination for electronic music, celebrity DJs and late night dancing, but now there is a new alternative for sophisticated entertainment in SoBe.
Last weekend, The Cabaret South Beach, a modern reinterpretation of famous cabarets like the Tropicana in Havana and the Moulin Rouge in Paris, opened to packed crowds and ushering in a new era of burlesque to the Beach.
Long time South Beach promoter Edison Farrow and his business partner, Ed DeCaso, conceived the lounge, which features live entertainment seven nights a week and offer an elegant alternative to crowded, trendy nightclubs.
The cabaret, located just off Washington Avenue at 233 12th St. in the heart of South Beach, offers a “theatrical extravaganza where grandiose French baroque decorative elements merge with opulent furniture and rich, royal colors,” said Farrow, who added, “Antique gold framed paintings, crystal chandeliers, and a white baby grand piano will set the stage for our staff of server-performers and….surprise acts from guest performers.”
DeCaso pointed out, “With so many live music venues closing, it is encouraging to have a new and unique performance venue right in the heart of South Beach."
It’s true that clubs tend to come and go in the fast paced club scene of South Beach, but Farrow, who founded the wildly successful, long running SoBe Social Club 13 years ago, has the formula for success:
“You have to have a plan, an identity and an audience,” he explained. “If you’re specific, you’ll succeed. Businesses come and go, mainly because they just don’t have it together.”
In a live performance venue, the talent is also key. Farrow, who started his career in New York City as an actor, auditioned more than 100 aspiring musicians for 14 coveted positions.
Among the diverse cast of performers are Rachel Larralde and Steph Michaels. Larralde was raised in Havana, Cuba and plays many instruments from guitars and drums to bells, while Michaels grew up in the Bronx in a Puerto Rican/Jamaican family, prefers R&B, hip-hop, and classic rock and more recently sang the National Anthem at a Miami Heat game.
On Monday nights, award-winning musical director Eric Alford will be at the piano, often accompanied by guest performers from the region’s many professional theater companies, for evenings of show tunes. Farrow expects Alford’s performances to become a big draw on traditionally one of the slowest nights of the week. Last week during the soft opening, 10 singers spontaneously joined Alford on the stage for a moving rendition of Seasons of Love from Rent, drawing wild applause.
“It felt like we were in New York,” Farrow recalled. He went on to promise entertaining performances of everything from Nat King Cole to Billy Joel and even Lady Gaga.
Even the signature cocktails reflect the cabaret heritage and vibe of the lounge. Among the libations offered are such diva-inspired concoctions as, The Liza, The Bette, The Celia, Chita Margarita and Lady Sings the Blues.
The Cabaret South Beach is open nightly at 9 p.m. and plans to offer happy hour entertainment with a piano player from 5 – 9 p.m. will be announced soon. For more information, go to TheCabaretSouthBeach.com.